People in Elkton are talking about a proposal that could impact their economy for decades.
Town leaders are trying to sway the federal government to bring a clean coal research facility to the town. The U.S. Department of Energy is looking to fund the project with money from the stimulus package.
"This will help relieve the dependency on foreign oil. It will address some of the carbon issues by the technology that we'll gain to use coal in a more efficient way," says Pete Bonavita, who is working on a committee to get the facility to Elkton.
The town has already set aside 25 to 50 acres of land for the project if it's approved. It will compete against other localities to get the project.
Sally Cureton, another committee member, says, "We need to do some research, find out exactly how effective [clean coal] can be. Can the cost be brought down?"
Cureton and Bonavita say doing that research in Elkton will bring about 100 high-paying jobs to the area and could lead to hundreds more jobs being created to support that work.
Elkton Mayor Larry Bompiani is looking at the long-term benefits for the area.
"The offshoot of that is the other businesses that could generate, that will come in and let's use the term 'piggyback' from the technology that will be spun off from this," says Bompiani.
Leaders in Elkton will submit a bid to the Department of Energy as early as Monday. This isn't a sure thing yet, but Bompiani says it's already having an impact.
He says, "Other businesses are already starting to look at us to contact us and say, 'What about us? Can we have some of that land? Can we purchase some of this research land?'"
Everyone involved expects this to be a long process. They say it could be a year before they get a decision from the Department of Energy.