The U.S. Department of Energy took the next step to granting $1 billion to advance the first commercial scale carbon capture and sequestration project in the country developed by the FutureGen Alliance in Mattoon, Illinois.

The research has potential to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and the world, the Department said in a statement. It still has to be fully approved by both sides by the middle of July, when preparatory tasks including a funding plan for the project will be reviewed.

This important step shows the Administration's commitment to investing in carbon capture and sequestration technology as part of a comprehensive plan to create green jobs in the US while reducing our dependence on foreign oil, said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a statement Friday.

The research facility will use integrated gasification combined cycle technology with carbon capture and sequestration into a deep saline geologic formation. It will be designed to be upgraded to 90 percent carbon capture from the initial design of 60 percent capture, and it will be designed to gasify a single coal type, the Department said.