Hoeven Introduces Basin Electric Senior VP at Senate Energy Hearing, Outlines Work to Develop Commercially-Viable CCS Technology

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week introduced Matt Greek, Senior Vice President of Research Development and Technology for Basin Electric Cooperative, at a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Hoeven outlined the innovative work that Basin Electric is doing in North Dakota to ensure reliable, affordable energy production for its nearly three million customers across nine states. This includes Basin Electric’s work on the Allam Cycle as well as its efforts to combine the production of synthetic natural gas and natural-gas-derived products, like fertilizer, with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology at the Dakota Gasification Company.

“Basin Electric balances a wide portfolio of both traditional and renewable energy sources, and their work truly reflects the all-of-the-above approach to energy development that we are trying to advance for our nation,” Hoeven said. “I appreciate Matt for taking the time to help my Senate colleagues better understand the needs of our rural electric cooperatives and the tremendous work they are doing to move the ball forward on innovative and commercially-viable technologies that improve environmental stewardship. These kinds of efforts represent a true path forward for reducing emissions around the globe. That’s why we will continue to work to ensure that Basin Electric and others in our state, like the EERC, have the support they need to develop the Allam Cycle and Project Tundra and bring these technologies to market.”

“Basin thanks the committee for its attention to the issue of rural energy, especially as we continue evolving to serve our mission and explore options to provide affordable and reliable electricity to our members. I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss our R&D efforts with Senator Hoeven, as well as other challenges and opportunities for rural electric cooperatives, and appreciate his continued support,” Greek said.

Among other things, Greek was in D.C. to testify on the importance of the Fossil Energy Research programs at the Department of Energy (DOE) in supporting the development of new technologies to boost energy production while also reducing emissions. This dovetails with Hoeven’s recent efforts to reaffirm Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s commitment to support these research programs and help advance local technology development efforts, including Project Tundra, a post-combustion technology to retrofit existing power plants, and the Allam Cycle, technology for new coal and natural gas power plants that uses supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) to increase efficiency and allow emissions to be captured. Further, Hoeven worked as a member of the Senate Energy Appropriations Committee to secure strong support for research efforts like these in the Fiscal Year 2018 funding legislation.

Greek also spoke to the importance of providing regulatory certainty in order to support the development of energy infrastructure, like transmission lines, pipelines and other energy-related projects. He specifically pointed to the approval that Hoeven recently secured from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) for North Dakota’s regulatory primacy over Class VI injection wells, which are used for the geologic, long-term storage of CO2. This is the first such approval in the nation and will help advance CCS projects across the state. Hoeven has led this effort since establishing the North Dakota CO2 Storage Workgroup in 2008 and has continued to advance the state’s application with the EPA throughout his time in the Senate, having secured a proposed rule to grant the authority last year. 

The approval aligns with Hoeven’s ongoing work to support a true path forward for coal in the nation’s energy mix. This effort is further bolstered by Hoeven’s reintroduction of the 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, as well as his legislation to extend the refined coal tax credit.