by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--State and local dignitaries, along with officials with Summit Power Group and the Department of Energy were in Odessa on Thursday talking about the latest developments for the first of its kind, power plant.
Officials are calling this a landmark project of international significance. It's picking up where FutureGen left off.
"It's really a benchmark event for West Texas. We wouldn't be here, as Summit Power, if it wasn't for the people of West Texas," Laura Miller, Director of Projects for Summit Power Group, said.
From state senators and representatives, to city mayors and county judges, even former candidates for Governor. All have one thing in common, an unfailing support for the clean, coal-burning power plant that will soon call West Texas home.
According to Senator Kel Seliger, "It represents a big, big commitment from the federal government and the Department of Energy on technology the world has not seen. The world will need to see it and the world will have to come here to see it."
Officials with the Department of Energy have been touring the site all week gathering information for the next phase of the project.
Representative Tryon Lewis says, it was through hard work and cooperation that the bill was passed that made the whole thing possible, "In addition to the legislators getting recognized here, none of that would be have happened without the vision and commitment of the Summit folks. They had a vision for this project and what it could mean for America."
The site itself is in Penwell, outside the City of Odessa, but still in Ector County. That gives folks a lot to be thankful for and much to look forward to.
"We would like to commend the citizens of Odessa for providing our community with the means by which we can get projects such as this," Odessa Mayor, Larry Melton, said.
"I think the turnout (Thursday), shows we are overwhelmingly in support of this project. And, that this is a project that is going to be monumental and beneficial to all of us combined," Ector County Judge, Susan Redford, said.
Everyone agrees, construction can't start soon enough on a project that will be a major boost to the local economy and good for the environment.
Midland oil man, Clayton Williams said, "I have oil wells out there that are as old as I am. And, they need CO2. "
The Department of Energy will be holding a public meeting on the project on June 17th at Odessa College. It starts at 4:00p.m., with an informal public session, followed by a formal session at 7:00p.m.