Hoeven, Daines Reintroduce Legislation to Encourage CO2 Sequestration, Support Clean Coal Technology

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) today announced that they have reintroduced their legislation to encourage carbon sequestration. The CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act aligns tax guidelines with existing federal regulations to ensure taxpayers are better able to utilize the Section 45Q carbon sequestration tax credit. By accelerating work on carbon sequestration projects, this bill is helping to provide one of the energy technologies needed to utilize America’s abundant coal resources. The legislation is cosponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and a companion to the bill has been introduced in House of Representatives by Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).

“Our nation’s energy industry continues developing and commercializing new technologies that deliver affordable, reliable energy with better environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation supports a path forward for clean coal technology. Improving this tax credit will help make CO2 sequestration a more commercially-viable technology. That’s good for jobs, consumers and the country’s energy security.”

“This bill will help ensure carbon captured from places like Colstrip can be used in a responsible, innovative, and economical way to unlock made-in-Montana energy,” Daines stated. “We need commonsense innovative solutions to save Montana’s coal jobs and produce more American energy.”

“The Lignite Energy Council supports the CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act and appreciates the efforts of Senators Hoeven and Daines to ensure that there is clear and workable guidance to successfully implement the section 45Q incentive. Thanks to their support for our industry’s R&D efforts, we continue to pursue technological solutions for the capture, utilization and sequestration of carbon dioxide from coal-based facilities. The CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act is another critical tool to ensure that the coal industry can continue innovating and meeting our energy needs,” said Jason Bohrer, President and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.

“Basin Electric supports Senators Hoeven and Daines' efforts to improve the Section 45Q carbon capture credit, and we appreciate their leadership on this issue. There remains a great deal of uncertainty related to large-scale carbon capture technology. For the foreseeable future, the use of CO2 in enhance oil recovery will be a primary driver in this technology. Unfortunately, the credit has not quite lived up to its initial promise due to conflicting rules regarding how CO2 designated for EOR will be sequestered. Section 45Q needs to be updated to reflect the realities of CO2 capture and sequestration so we the technology can improve and expand,” said Dale Niezwaag, Vice President of Government Relations at Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

Currently, project developers can claim 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 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.