The project has bipartisan support in Ohio, where it could lead to as many as 4,000 jobs in a struggling region. The host county, Pike, has Ohio's highest unemployment rate at nearly 14 percent.
Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who met recently with Vice President Joe Biden about the project, praised an agreement he said in a statement adds accountability while ensuring "that the Piketon community is on a path toward continued job creation and economic growth."
Republican Sen. Rob Portman called it "a step in the right direction," while continuing to urge long-term federal commitment to the plant.
However, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., renewed his call for an investigation of the Energy Department support for the project, saying in a statement that the $88 million "is a complete and total waste of taxpayer dollars." He and Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, have written the General Accountability Office questioning the legal and policy basis for what they call a risky bailout of a questionable project.___ Contact the reporter at www.twitter.com/dansewell