Hoeven outlines efforts for ND’s energy industry

— Official News Release, Senator John Hoeven —

At the Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s annual meeting today, Senator John Hoeven stressed the important role coal and other traditional energy resources play in supporting the nation’s economy and outlined opportunities to ensure the future growth of North Dakota’s energy industry.

“Our ability to provide low-cost, reliable energy drives the country’s economy and impacts families and businesses from coast to coast,” Hoeven said. “North Dakota is leading the way in developing some truly innovative technology, such as the Allam Cycle, Project Tundra and other clean coal projects, which will help our energy industry to produce more energy with better environmental stewardship and less emissions. We are working to ensure that the federal government has the programs and policies in place that industry needs to advance these projects and make this technology commercially-viable.”

As a member of the Senate Energy Committee and Energy Appropriations committee, Hoeven works in the following areas to support the state’s energy priorities:

DEVELOP NEW TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT TRADITIONAL ENERGY

Clean Coal Projects – Hoeven arranged a meeting between Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and North Dakota energy leaders to secure funding for clean coal projects in the state, including a pilot and demonstration project for the Allam Cycle. Basin Electric and Allete Inc. are working together on the project, which uses supercritical CO2 to drive turbines and generate electricity. The process can greatly increase efficiency, reduce emissions in coal and natural gas plants and allows for the CO2 to be sequestered or used for enhanced oil recovery.

The senator later helped to formalize a partnership between Minnkota Power Cooperative, Allete Clean Energy, BNI Energy and the University of North Dakota’s (UND) Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) for Project Tundra, a project to retrofit existing plants for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).

CCS Research – Earlier this year, Hoeven successfully secured $30 million in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 energy funding legislation to support the development of commercially-viable CCS technology. Further, the senator helped to pass the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The Senate bill would authorize $610 million annually for a new Coal Technology Program to advance large-scale CCS demonstration projects and is currently in conference committee.

Regulatory Primacy – Hoeven urged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to approve North Dakota’s application for regulatory primacy over Class VI injection wells, which are used for the geologic storage of carbon.

Tax Certainty – Hoeven recently introduced the CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act of 2016 with Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), legislation that will ensure project developers are better able to claim the 45Q tax credit for CO2 sequestration projects.

ENSURE COST-EFFECTIVE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) – Hoeven included language in the Senate’s FY2017 Interior and Environment funding bill to prevent the implementation of the WOTUS rule.

EPA’s Rules for New and Existing Power Plants – Hoeven cosponsored and the Senate passed two resolutions to repeal the EPA’s costly power plan rules for existing plants and new coal generating plants, which President Obama subsequently vetoed. Separately, the senator helped introduce the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, which would protect against the regulations. He also organized a meeting with the EPA, state officials and industry leaders, where the agency agreed to work with the state and provide more time to address its concerns.

Coal Ash Recycling – The Senate recently passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which includes legislation based on the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2016, a bill introduced by Hoeven and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The Hoeven-Manchin measure prevents costly litigation and, for the first time, creates an enforceable state permit program for the disposal of coal ash, which also helps industry to continue to safely recycle it into useful, less-expensive construction materials.

Stream Buffer Rule – Earlier this year, Hoeven brought Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Interior Department, to North Dakota to show her firsthand the impact of the agency’s proposed Stream Buffer rule, which threatens thousands of jobs in 22 states, and to press for a states-first approach to the rule.

Water Heater Efficiency – Congress passed Hoeven’s Water Heater Efficiency legislation in 2015, which enables rural electric power cooperatives and their members to continue using large, energy-efficient water heaters in “demand response” conservation programs.

Josh Wolsky

Editor and Publisher of TheMinotVoice, Developer of the #ForMinot Network,  Co-Host of #GoodTalk Minot, Advocate and Friend of the Souris River, Former City Alderman, and clearly -- all things #MakeMinot. Go ahead, don't wait for permission!