Hoeven: Royalty Rate Reduction Approved for Beulah’s Freedom Mine, Supporting Affordable Baseload Power

Senator Worked to Advance 10-Year Extension to Preserve Market-Rate Access to Taxpayer-Owned Coal, Provide Certainty for Largest Lignite Mine in U.S.

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that, following his efforts, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved a 10-year extension of North American Coal’s royalty rate of 2.2 percent for Freedom Mine in Beulah:

  • The reduction is consistent with market rates for non-federal coal in the region, providing certainty to the largest lignite mine in the U.S. and preserving cost-effective access to taxpayer-owned coal resources for:
    • Basin Electric’s Antelope Valley Station, supporting affordable baseload power and the reliability of the grid.
    • Dakota Gasification Company, which is developing the largest coal-based carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project in the world.
  • Without the extension, Freedom Mine and the facilities it supplies would have faced a more than fivefold increase in royalty payments, burdening critical energy production and resulting in higher costs for consumers.
  • Through his role on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hoeven worked to advance the 10-year extension.
    • Earlier this year, Hoeven raised this priority with Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Laura Daniel-Davis and pressed for approval of North American Coal’s application.

“Our state has abundant coal reserves, much of which is owned by taxpayers. Securing this reduced federal royalty rate for Freedom Mine comes as an important part of our efforts to ensure the reliability of the electrical grid and preserve access to affordable and reliable baseload power,” said Senator Hoeven. “This is the largest lignite mine in the U.S. and serves as an important source of coal for Basin Electric and the Dakota Gasification Company. Today’s announcement not only supports our energy security today, but also the future of our coal industry, as the Great Plains Synfuels plant is developing the largest coal-based CCUS project in the world.”

“We are pleased BLM approved the requested extension. They agreed that our application was allowed by law and regulation, and that it was based on actions designed to reduce emissions,” said David Straley, Vice President of External Affairs for NACCO Natural Resources. “We want to thank Senator Hoeven for his efforts to encourage a wise decision that is beneficial to all. He understands this approval will save millions of dollars in unnecessary cost increases to thousands of farmers, ranchers, and small businesses throughout North Dakota and many other mid-western states.”