Hoeven Advances North Dakota Oil & Coal Priorities with Deputy Energy Secretary Nominee

Nominee Supports SPR Legislation, Finalizing 45Q Tax Credit & Ensuring Fair Value for Coal

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven secured support for North Dakota’s energy priorities with Mark Menezes, the nominee to serve as Deputy Secretary of Energy. The senator urged Menezes to work with him in helping maintain the nation’s oil and gas production capacity and providing a true path forward for coal, both through the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies and ensuring a fair value for coal as a reliable source of baseload power. Menezes currently serves as Under Secretary for Energy and is the principal advisor to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette on energy policy and existing and emerging technologies.

“I appreciate Mark Menezes’ work at the Energy Department as well as his continued commitment to help advance our state’s energy priorities when confirmed as Deputy Secretary,” said Hoeven. “We have a wide range of ongoing efforts to support our essential oil and coal industries. Our legislation to support $3 billion in SPR purchases will be an important step in addressing the supply and demand issues impacting producers. Further, we continue to press for the final piece of the 45Q tax credit and to ensure coal is fairly valued, which will help provide certainty for producers of this critical source of baseload power now and into the future.”

Supporting Oil & Gas Producers

During their conversation, Menezes expressed support for Hoeven’s bipartisan, bicameral bill to provide $3 billion to purchase U.S.-produced oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This is a key part of Hoeven’s broader efforts to help oil and gas producers weather the difficulties they face. To this end, the senator’s priorities have included:

  • Replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program to help smaller companies
  • Working to ensure access to credit under the 13(3) lending facilities.
  • Supporting an investigation to stop crude oil dumping by Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil-producing nations.
  • Beating COVID-19 and safely re-opening the economy.

Developing CCUS Technologies

Through his work on the ENR Committee as well as his role on the Energy Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has advanced the development of CCUS technology to secure a true path forward for coal. Among other things, the senator has supported the implementation of the 45Q tax credit, which will make CCUS projects more commercially-viable:

  • Hoeven previously supported the passage of legislation to reform and expand the 45Q tax credit and worked to advance the first two pieces of its implementation.
  • The senator continues pressing the Department of the Treasury to issue the third and final piece of the 45Q rules as soon as possible and to ensure the tax credit works for both long-term storage and enhanced oil and gas recovery, similar to his CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act.
  • The senator spoke with President Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on this issue earlier this week, who indicated the administration is working to get the proposed rule out soon. 

Further, Hoeven has worked to fund the Plains Carbon Dioxide Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, which is led by the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), as well as the CarbonSAFE Initiative. This Department of Energy program awarded $17 million to EERC earlier this year for Project Tundra. Hoeven has secured approximately $43 million for Project Tundra to date.

Ensuring a Fair Value for Coal

Hoeven has been working to ensure coal’s role as a reliable source of baseload power is properly valued. To this end, Hoeven:

  • Has been pressing the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), including Menezes, Secretary Brouillette and FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, on this issue.
  • Introduced an amendment, along with Senator Kevin Cramer, to repeal the one-year extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).
  • Worked to provide much-needed regulatory relief for the nation’s energy producers, including repealing burdensome rules on coal and lignite producers.