Hoeven Presses FERC Nominees to Ensure a Fair Value for Coal as Reliable Source of Baseload Power

Senator Highlights Recent Blackouts in California, Need for Fuel Diversity to Support Affordability & Reliability of Electric Grid

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week stressed to Mark Christie and Allison Clements, nominees to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the essential role of baseload power in supporting the affordability and reliability of the grid. The senator highlighted recent issues with rolling blackouts in California due to the lack of fuel diversity in its electricity generation, and accordingly, urged the nominees to ensure a fair value for baseload power sources like coal that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hoeven also spoke individually with Christie and Clements prior to the committee hearing to discuss these issues.

“Reliable electricity generation is central to our quality of life, especially when facing severe weather, from blizzards to heat waves,” said Hoeven. “The situation in California, which experienced a series of rolling blackouts last month, drives this point home. We need to maintain an adequate supply of baseload generation, including from coal-fired plants, to mitigate such risks and ensure the grid can meet demand when power is needed most. That’s why we’ve been making the case to FERC, including the nominees before our committee this week, and other administration officials to ensure a fair value for coal and its ability to provide power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the same time, we’re working to leverage the 45Q tax credit and advance new technology that will enable us to continue utilizing our vast coal reserves while also reducing emissions.”

This week’s hearing comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing work to build a path forward for coal in the nation’s energy mix. Further, the discussion builds on the senator’s previous efforts with FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who the senator recently hosted in North Dakota, along with Senator Kevin Cramer, to meet directly with the state’s coal industry. In addition, Hoeven has:

  • Worked closely with the White House, Treasury Department and Energy Department to get the 45Q tax credit implemented in a manner that:
    • Makes carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects more commercially-viable.
    • Provides an important revenue stream to coal producers.
    • Moving forward, Hoeven is prioritizing the need to provide a direct payment option and extend the time available for claiming the 45Q tax credit.
  • Supported the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) in developing CCUS technology to enable greater energy production with fewer emissions. 
    • To date, Hoeven has secured $43 million for Project Tundra, an effort led by the EERC and Minnkota Power.
  • Introduced an amendment, along with Senator Cramer, to repeal the one-year extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).
  • Provided much-needed regulatory relief for the nation’s energy producers, including repealing burdensome rules on coal producers.