Just another of the many lovely turds that the House has inserted into the energy bill:

Years ago, the federal government spent $117 million on an experimental “clean coal” power plant in Alaska designed to generate electricity with a minimum of air pollution — but the project never got up and running.

The plant, built in the late 1990s just outside Denali National Park and Preserve, never worked as it was supposed to, cost too much to operate and provided power only intermittently when it was tested, according to the utility company that was supposed to run it. Five years ago, the state closed it down.

Last week, the House came up with a solution: spend an additional $125 million in the form of government loans to convert the experimental “clean coal” facility into something that works.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Read the rest.

Altogether, there is about $1.8 billion in the House energy bill for research into “clean coal” technology. There’s no doubt that coal is going to have to be a major part of America’s energy future, but I’m deeply skeptical. We may simply be paying for more screwups like the one in Alaska.

If the Bush administration and the GOP Congress were serious about emissions from coal-fired power plants, it wouldn’t have torched New Source Review and gutted the EPA’s enforcement division.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.