Hoeven Helps Kick off Midwest AgEnergy's Carbon Zero Initiative, Break Ground on CO2 Capture Well

Senator Secured 45Q Tax Credit to Help Advance CCUS Projects, Which Will Enable Ethanol Producers to Access Broader Markets

UNDERWOOD, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today helped kick off Midwest AgEnergy’s (MAG) Carbon Zero Initiative and marked the groundbreaking of a COcapture well. MAG is drilling the well to first test the region’s geological formations for the potential to store CO2, and should the area be suitable, the company will seek a Class VI permit to fully develop the injection well to sequester emissions from the Blue Flint ethanol plant. Accordingly, this project:

  • Would enable the facility to sell to states with low carbon fuel standards, like California and those in the Pacific Northwest, ensuring a broader market for the company’s product. 
  • Would allow the company to benefit from the 45Q tax credit, which Hoeven worked to implement and continues working to enhance to better support carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects.
  • Is able to move forward due to Hoeven’s efforts to secure final approval for North Dakota’sregulatory primacy over Class VI injection wells, which are used for geologic or long-term storage of CO2, the first such approval in the nation. 

As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven also continues working to fund efforts like the Plains Carbon Dioxide Reduction (PCOR) Partnershipand the CarbonSAFE Initiative in North Dakota, which support the development of commercial-scale COstorage facilities.

“With the launch of Midwest AgEnergy’s Carbon Zero initiative, our state continues to lead the way in the development of CCUS technology, a critical path forward for both traditional and renewable energy producers, enabling us to develop more energy with fewer emissions,” Hoeven said. “We’ve worked for well over a decade to set the stage for projects like this, including securing the state authority needed to regulate CO2 storage, funding research into CCUS and implementing and expanding the 45Q tax credit. Being co-located with a coal-fired power station, the Blue Flint ethanol facility already demonstrated the innovative approach we take in North Dakota. With the application of CCUS, our ethanol industry will be able to access more markets and have a more secure economic future.”

Implementing & Enhancing 45Q

Hoeven has been working closely with the White House, Department of the Treasury and the Department of Energy to get the 45Q tax credit implemented in a manner that will make CCUS projects more commercially-viable by providing access to an important revenue stream:

  • Hoeven previously worked to pass legislation to reform and expand the 45Q tax credit.
  • The senator advanced the credit’s implementation, including raising the issue with President Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
  • Moving forward, Hoeven is prioritizing the need to enhance the credit by:
    • Providing a direct payment option.
    • Extending the time available for claiming the 45Q tax credit.

Securing State Primacy over Class VI Wells

Hoeven has worked since his time as governor to the secure the state’s role as the primary regulator of Class VI wells, which provides greater certainty to CCUS project developers like MAG and Red Trail Energy. His efforts include:

  • Establishing the North Dakota COStorage Workgroup in 2008, during his time as governor.
  • Helping advance a bill through the state legislature to create a regulatory framework for carbon sequestration under the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
  • As U.S. Senator, moving the state’s application for regulatory primacy forward at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and successfully pressing for its approval.