Monday, December 18, 2006

China, U.S. Partner To Advance Clean Energy Technology

Accord renews nations' commitment to energy security, pollution reduction

China's decision to join the FutureGen International Partnership and its signing of an accord with the United States on advancing clean energy technology will enhance energy security, provide for economic growth and reduce harmful pollutants for both nations, according to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

"We welcome China and their expertise to the FutureGen project. China and the U.S. share a common energy resource in coal, so it is imperative that we work together to find ways to use coal effectively, efficiently, and without contributing emissions," Bodman said in a December 15 press release.

China will be the third country, after South Korea and India, to join FutureGen, a $1 billion government-industry project announced in 2003 in response to President Bush's directive to develop a hydrogen economy. The coal-fired power plant, scheduled to start operations in 2012, will produce electricity and hydrogen without emitting pollutants such as carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.

Bodman also welcomed the signing of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Protocol, which renews U.S.-Chinese cooperation in advancing solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and other clean energy technologies.

Both agreements stemmed from the first session of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, a mechanism proposed by Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao in September to promote economic cooperation and the growth of U.S.-China relations.

U.S. participants in the December 14-15 meeting in Beijing included Bodman, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson. The next dialogue session will take place in Washington in May 2007.

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