The Sheridan City Council approved a resolution Monday night endorsing the NERD Gas Company's proposal to develop a coal gasification plant at Lake DeSmet in Johnson County.
The project would be the first of its kind and would involve converting natural gas into gasoline. Rita Meyer with NERD Gas explains that this type of project involves cutting edge technology.
Meyer said that a lot of scrutiny comes along with projects like this and that community support is essential for moving forward.
Several in attendance spoke out against the proposed project, including Shannon Anderson with the Powder River Basin Resource Council.
Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey said that while he understands the concern over recreation and environmental issues, a project like this would provide the shot in the arm the of which the local economy is in dire need.
Joe Nicholas with NERD said the project would employ 70 full time employees, and several hundred during the construction phase. He also stated to the Council that they are reviewing other possible sites around the state and that they plan to make a decision by the first quarter of 2012.
Regardless of where the plant is built, construction wouldn't begin for another four to five years.