The company behind a troubled clean coal project in Texas was able to hang on to its government funding last week by taking advantage of a federal regulation governing informal dispute resolutions.
The Energy Department was about to pull funding for the Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP) Friday, but were stopped at the last minute after Summit Power, the company behind TCEP, cited a regulation giving it the right to an informal dispute resolution.
The DOE told Bloomberg in an emailed statement that while the agency “has a responsibility to the taxpayer,” it also must follow laws that include “the right of a company to seek an informal dispute resolution.”
“We have been working with the project as we understand how important it is to move this technology forward,” DOE said. “We will continue to work with the company to figure out the best next steps.”
TCEP has had a conflicted existence. On the one hand, TCEP is supported by taxpayer funding from the DOE as it searches for a way to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from coal power.
On the other hand, the project has been opposed by environmentalists and some conservative groups who say they don’t want tax dollars to be wasted on unproven clean coal technology.