Hoeven: Red Trail Energy to Deploy Advanced Carbon Capture Technology at Richardton Ethanol Plant

Senator Secures First in the Country Approval for State Carbon Storage Program

RICHARDTON, N.D. – At a roundtable of energy industry leaders, agriculture producers and state and local officials at Red Trail Energy in Richardton today, Senator John Hoeven outlined his efforts to advance the development of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology for both traditional and renewable energy producers. Hoeven secured approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month of North Dakota’s application for regulatory primacy over Class VI injection wells, which are used for geological sequestration or long-term storage of CO2, the first such approval in the nation. 

This approval will empower companies in North Dakota to develop and deploy CCS technologies. Red Trail will be able to use state of the art technology to capture and store CO2, reducing emissions from the plant and enabling the company to sell ethanol to states that have emission requirements for fuels, like California. This will open up more markets for Red Trail’s ethanol and benefit North Dakota’s farmers and energy sector.

“CCS technology will be a vital tool in supporting North Dakota’s energy future,” said Hoeven, “We’ve worked since 2008 to create an environment that empowers our state’s energy industry to lead the way in developing not only new clean coal technologies, but also innovative projects for renewable energy sources like ethanol. Having secured this first-of-its-kind approval for our state, Red Trail Energy can move forward on its plan to sequester CO2 from their ethanol plant. This is a prime example of the kind of technologies that can be developed by providing a strong business climate and regulatory certainty.”

As governor in 2008, Hoeven established the North Dakota CO2 Storage Workgroup, which was tasked with developing a regulatory framework for the long-term storage of CO2. The workgroup resulted in 2009 legislation granting regulatory authority over geologic sequestration of CO2 to the North Dakota Industrial Commission and established trust funds for state oversight and long-term liability. That legislation was amended in 2013 to meet new EPA standards.

In June 2013, North Dakota submitted an application to become the primary regulatory body for Class VI injection wells, and the application has been pending at the EPA since then. Hoeven has worked throughout the previous and current administrations to advance the state’s application. The EPA’s new rule follows a meeting between Hoeven and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, where the senator successfully pressed for approval of the request.