Hoeven, Daines, Cramer Reintroduce CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act

Legislation Would Help Ensure CCUS Project Developers Can Utilize Section 45Q Tax Credit

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) today reintroduced their legislation, the CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, to direct the Department of Treasury to use its existing authorities to help ensure carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project developers can utilize the Section 45Q tax credit. By aligning tax guidelines with existing federal regulations, the bill would help accelerate work on CCUS projects, supporting the development and implementation of a vital energy technology needed to utilize America’s abundant coal resources. The legislation is also cosponsored by Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

“CCUS technologies offer the capability to continue relying on all of our nation’s vast energy resources while also improving environmental stewardship and reducing emissions,” said Senator Hoeven. “The IRS’ guidelines for accessing the 45Q tax credit don’t properly reflect regulations for CCUS at the EPA, unnecessarily increasing costs and holding back the development and use of this technology. As the IRS is in the process of implementing the recently expanded and extended 45Q tax credit, I believe this is the best opportunity to provide ongoing certainty and regulatory flexibility for project developers and to make CCUS technology more commercially-viable. I will continue to work with the IRS and through the legislative process to ensure that the 45Q tax credit more effectively advances CCUS technology.”

“This bill will help protect high-paying Montana energy jobs and continue to support the low-cost, reliable energy from coal plants like Colstrip. Instead of job killing regulations that have hurt Montana communities and consumers, we should be supporting and expanding innovative solutions,” said Senator Daines.

“Under current regulations, energy companies are unsure if they can take advantage of the 45Q tax credit,” said Senator Cramer. “This legislation aligns Treasury’s regulations with the EPA’s, which will provide much-needed clarity and consistency for North Dakota’s energy stakeholders. If 45Q is going to successfully incentivize carbon capture, it must be applicable to all producers who participate, not just a select few.”

“The Lignite Energy Council and its members thank Senator Hoeven for his forward-looking bill that would incentivize utilities engaged in the lignite industry to invest in advanced technologies that will allow them to capture carbon dioxide and use it for beneficial purposes such as incremental oil recovery,” said Jason Bohrer, President and CEO of Lignite Energy Council.

“We appreciate Senator Hoeven’s leadership to further improve the 45Q tax credit. This is an important incentive for carbon capture technology, and the Senator’s legislation will provide further certainty for those seeking to utilize and permanently sequester carbon dioxide,” said Paul Sukut, CEO and General Manager of Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

Currently, project developers can claim a tax credit for CO2 sequestration. However, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance does not reflect differences between the two existing sequestration methods: permanent or geological storage and enhanced oil and gas recovery. The IRS guidelines subject enhanced oil and gas recovery applications to regulations meant for geological storage, making it difficult to access the tax credit. 

The Hoeven-Daines-Cramer bill clarifies and aligns IRS guidelines with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that already reflect operational and legal differences between enhanced oil and gas recovery and geological storage under the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.