Hoeven Reaffirms Secretary Perry's Commitment to Support Research Center Cooperative Agreements & Fossil Energy Research, Visit North Dakota

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Energy and Water Appropriations Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven reaffirmed Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry’s commitment to support DOE’s cooperative agreements with research organizations like the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) in Grand Forks as well as the Fossil Energy Research programs at DOE. Hoeven also followed up on his invitation for Perry to visit North Dakota and see the innovative work of its energy industry firsthand, which the secretary committed to do. 

During the hearing, Hoeven stressed the importance of EERC and DOE’s research and development efforts in ensuring the nation can continue to rely on all of its energy resources. Specifically, the senator highlighted two of EERC’s projects – 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. 

“My conversation with Secretary Perry was very timely, as he is about to travel to India to showcase new American energy technologies,” Hoeven said. “The work our state is doing on Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle not only benefits our local energy industry, but will be purchased by other nations and help deliver affordable energy around the globe while also reducing emissions. This is truly the solution for ensuring good environmental stewardship – new technology and innovation, not overregulation.”

Last year, Hoeven secured $6 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 funding for Project Tundra. The senator has since included strong support in FY2018 to help develop these technologies, including funding for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Research & Development, as well as $35 million for Post-Combustion Coal Technologies like Project Tundra and $24 million to develop Supercritical CO2 Technologies like the Allam Cycle. Project Tundra is being developed by Allete Clean Energy, Minnkota Power and BNI Coal in partnership with the EERC. The Allam Cycle is being developed by EERC, Basin Electric and Allete Inc. 

This funding comes as part of 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.

Hoeven also recently secured the final approval 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 Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) throughout his time in the Senate, having secured a proposed rule to grant the authority last year.