WASHINGTON (AP) — The Energy Department on Wednesday canceled a futuristic, virtually emissions-free coal plant scheduled to be built in Illinois, saying it preferred to spend the money on a handful of projects around the country that would demonstrate the capture and burial of carbon dioxide from commercial power plants.

"This restructuring is an all-around better deal for Americans," said Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman in making the announcement to scuttle the FutureGen program.

Bodman said the Energy Department would solicit industry applications for participation in the new carbon capture projects. The idea is for the government to pay for building the carbon capture and storage facilities and industry to build the modern coal-burning power plant. Each project would be designed to capture 1 million metric tons of CO2, the leading greenhouse gas linked to global warming, officials said.