In December, the Federal Government made a promise to summit power, to basically fork over $350 million dollars for a clean coal energy plant, if and only if a certain amount of steps are completed. Tonight, one of those steps was addressed.
The Federal Government says one of the big steps is public approval and that was the focus of tonight's meeting. Energy experts with this clean coal project held a town hall meeting and gave anyone in the community the opportunity to voice their questions and concerns about this plant.
No topic, question or concern was off limits regarding the clean coal energy plant in Penwell.
"We're not limited to environmental, in fact the subjects that are relevant to the national environmental policy act, extend beyond direct environmental to include social, economic, pretty much any comment," explains Jason Lewis with the Department of Energy.
Most of the people we spoke with at the meeting, said they're interested because down the road this coal plant will help them out.
"This is supposed to create over 150 permanent jobs, but it's supposed to temporarily bring in over 1,500 jobs and that opens up the opportunity in the area," explains Enrique Romero, the Director of Small Business Development Center at UTPB.
Romero says, as the plant brings in more jobs his business will grow.
"People look to us to start their own business whether it it's directly involved with us or not and that's where we come in," says Romero.
James McCutcheon, Director of the Auto and Diesel Technology Program at Odessa College came to the meeting to improve his class.
"Its green energy and I'm looking into a few options for my program such as the hybrid for the cars trying to move program into the state of the art technology teaching type areas," explains McCutcheon.
All concerns and questions were recorded at the meeting tonight.
“They will appear in the draft and final EIS along with the resolutions to these comments," says Lewis.
The EIS is a report done by the department of energy, the next step in making this clean coal energy plant a done deal.