Hoeven Outlines Need to Properly Value Reliability and Resiliency of Baseload Power

Senator Highlights Comments from former Energy Secretary Brouillette on Recent Events, Stresses Efforts in North Dakota to Crack the Code on CCUS

WASHINGTON – At a recent hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on grid reliability and resiliency in the midst of recent extreme weather events, Hoeven outlined the need to ensure the reliability of the electric grid by maintaining the nation’s baseload power sources. The senator highlighted a letter from former Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette addressing this issue, specifically citing that:

  • The National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) found that nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas were the most reliable sources of generation during the 2014 Polar Vortex and the 2018 “bomb cyclone.”
  • The current “bid-based” markets established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) fail to properly value baseload power, and these markets need to adequately price reliability and resiliency to ensure power is available to all when it is needed most.

Hoeven further discussed these priorities with the hearing’s witnesses, including James Robb, President and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and Pat Wood, former Chairman of FERC. The senator stressed how efforts in North Dakota to develop carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies will enable the nation to continue utilizing all of its abundant resources while also reducing emissions. 

“Under the rules that FERC has established, our nation’s energy markets are failing to fairly value baseload power, leading to the loss of this critical generation capacity and resulting in rolling blackouts that impacted much of our country, including North Dakota, during last month’s extreme weather event,” said Hoeven. “This is a real risk to the well-being of people throughout our nation. The good news is that we can both maintain our baseload power sources, like coal, and reduce emissions through innovative technologies like CCUS. We can’t get there through burdensome regulations. It will take the right mix of incentives and regulatory certainty, and that’s exactly what we’ve worked to provide in North Dakota and through our continued work on priorities like the 45Q and 48A tax credits.” 

This week’s hearing comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to promote the continued development of the nation’s baseload power sources, including coal, to ensure the reliability and affordability of the electricity grid. Among other priorities, Hoeven has been: 

  • Pressing FERC to ensure a fair value for baseload power sources like coal that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Implementing and enhancing the 45Q tax credit, one of the most important incentives to make CCUS projects commercially-viable.
  • Advancing his bipartisan, bicameral legislation to modernize the Section 48A tax credit for coal facilities to better support CCUS retrofit projects, like Project Tundra.
  • Streamlining the approval process for energy development and infrastructure, like transmission lines and pipelines.