Hoeven: EPA Proposes to Rescind Obama-Era Power Plan

Senator Worked to Repeal Rules that Unfairly Targeted North Dakota

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to repeal the Obama-era rules for new and existing coal-generating power plants. The proposal stresses that the rules exceeded the agency’s authority as established by Congress and states that the EPA will hold a public comment period where it will determine what policies are needed in the rules’ place. Hoeven joined the President earlier this year in implementing an executive order to rescind the costly regulations, which unfairly target North Dakota and require a 45 percent reduction in the state’s CO2 emissions, well above the national average of 32 percent. Last Congress, Hoeven cosponsored and the Senate passed two resolutions to repeal the EPA’s power plan rules, which President Obama subsequently vetoed.

“President Obama’s power plan was unworkable, especially in light of the additional costs the previous administration attempted to impose on North Dakota when revising the rules,” said Hoeven. “We welcome this action from the EPA and look forward to continuing to advance the technologies that will create a true path forward for our energy industry, empowering greater energy production and good environmental stewardship without burdening consumers and businesses with unnecessary costs.”  

Hoeven continues to support the development of new technologies to reduce emissions from both traditional and renewable energy sources. This includes commercially-viable clean coal technologies, like Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle, as well as efforts like Red Trail Energy’s project to reduce the emissions from its ethanol plant in Richardton.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Energy Appropriations Committees, the senator worked to ensure the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 energy funding bill rejected the administration’s proposed cuts to CCS programs. Hoeven also secured a commitment from Energy Secretary Rick Perry earlier this year to support CCS pilot and demonstration projects and continues working to ensure the final appropriations measure provides adequate funding. Further, Hoeven recently reintroduced his CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, legislation that aligns tax guidelines with existing federal regulations at the EPA to ensure CCS project developers can use the Section 45Q tax credit.

In addition to supporting new innovations in energy production, Hoeven continues to advance regulatory relief for the nation’s energy developers. His recent efforts include:

  • Stopping the Waters of the U.S. Rule  Hoeven worked through the Appropriations Committee to defund the regulation in 2016 and 2017. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently issued a proposal to restore the regulations that were in place prior to WOTUS, which was issued in 2015. This is the first of two steps established by the executive order signed by the president in February.
  • Repealing the Stream Buffer Rule – Hoeven helped introduce and pass legislation to rescind the one-size-fits-all Stream Buffer Rule, which was primarily based on mining practices in the Appalachian region and threatened to eliminate thousands of mining jobs.
  • Rolling Back Burdensome Regulations – Hoeven joined the President and Interior Secretary to implement executive orders and begin rolling back regulations that hamper domestic energy production, including the the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule for federal lands, BLM’s methane rule and the moratorium on federal coal leasing. The senator also cosponsored and voted for a resolution to repeal the BLM methane rule, for which the administration has proposed a three-year delay while it works to review and rescind the rule.
  • Rescinding BLM “Planning 2.0” – Hoeven cosponsored and helped pass a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the rule. This maintained multiple-use requirements for federal lands, including energy development.