Hoeven: Energy Infrastructure Like Central Power's Transmission Line Helps Support Growing Economy & Higher Quality of Life

As Chairman of Ag Approps, Senator Funded Program that Provided $20 Million for Central Power Project, Is Advancing Regulatory Relief & Investment for Nation’s Infrastructure

MINOT, N.D. – At the ribbon-cutting for Central Power Cooperative’s new 115kV transmission line system today, Senator John Hoeven outlined the importance of investing in new energy infrastructure in order to support a growing economy and a higher quality of life. The senator highlighted how the 26.8 mile transmission route, which runs through the western and northern areas around Minot, will improve reliability for the Minot Air Force Base and residents in the area, as there will now be enough transmission capacity to meet the increasing peak usage in the region. 

The Central Power project was supported by more than $20 million of federal loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS). As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven funds the RUS loan and grant programs each year to ensure robust investment in rural infrastructure, including telecommunications, water, sewer and electric systems.

“This new transmission line is a great example of why we fund USDA’s loan and grant programs, to provide infrastructure that will meet the demands of a growing economy and ensure that residents have access to essential services, regardless of their ZIP code,” said Hoeven. “To remain competitive globally, we are working to spur this same kind of investment across all of our infrastructure systems, including energy, broadband, water, rail, roads and airports. We can accomplish this not only through federal funding, but also by advancing innovative funding sources, like my Move America Act does, and by continuing to provide regulatory relief to reduce unnecessary costs and help taxpayer dollars go further.”

In addition to the RUS programs, Hoeven is advancing the following efforts to provide regulatory relief and support increased investment toward building and repairing the nation’s infrastructure:

  • The Move America Act, bipartisan legislation Hoeven introduced that would provide tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to help grow and repair the country’s infrastructure. Qualified projects include roads, bridges, transit, ports, rail, airports, water and sewer facilities and rural broadband.
  • Working with the Department of State to streamline the permitting process for cross-border energy infrastructure projects, like pipelines and electrical transmission lines, similar to his North American Energy Infrastructure Act.
  • Deploying broadband infrastructure, including in rural areas. Among other things, Hoeven has secured more than $1.6 billion across fiscal years 2018-2020 for the ReConnect Program, a rural broadband loan and grant pilot program.
  • Hoeven’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act, which would waive the permit requirement when the federal government controls less than 50 percent of subsurface minerals and there is no federal surface land. 
    • The bill is also included in the ONSHORE Act, which he introduced with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to empower states with the authority to manage oil and gas permitting on federal lands within their borders.
  • Filling vacant positions at the Dakota Prairie Grasslands offices in order to more quickly process Surface Use Plans of Operations (SUPO).
    • The senator emphasized this priority with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief when he hosted her in North Dakota earlier this year.
    • Hoeven also included a measure in the FY2020 funding legislation encouraging USFS to hire staff that fill these vacancies under the National Grasslands.