Hoeven Secures Approval of Federal Mine Plan for Coyote Creek Mine

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that he has secured approval of a new federal mine plan for Coyote Creek Mine in Zap, North Dakota, allowing for the development of two tracts of federal coal located under private surface acreage. The federal coal lease was awarded in 2020 by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), following completion of an environmental assessment (EA) over the tracts proposed for leasing. However, in 2022, the Biden administration issued a determination that a supplemental EA was required before a mine plan could be issued, significantly delaying the mine’s planned operations and risking a reliable coal supply for Coyote Creek Station.

Accordingly, Hoeven has been working through his role on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to expedite the EA process and secure approval of the federal mine plan. To this end, the senator repeatedly raised the priority with Department of the Interior officials, including then-Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau, Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Steve Feldgus.

“This regulatory approval is key to the future operations of Coyote Creek Mine and Coyote Creek Station,” said Hoeven. “The stability of the electrical grid depends on affordable and reliable baseload power sources, like coal, and regulatory delays were undermining our ability to continue utilizing this critical energy resource. That’s why we continue working to press the Biden administration on the fact that our nation’s vast coal resources remain critical to rural electrification, and securing this federal mine plan approval for Coyote Creek is an important part of these efforts.”

Today’s announcement comes as the latest in Hoeven’s efforts to secure coal’s continued role in the nation’s energy mix and provide certainty for North Dakota’s coal producers. Last year, Hoeven also successfully advanced approval of BNI’s federal mine plans for Center mine. The senator also continues working to push back on burdensome mandates being advanced by the Biden administration, such as:

  • The Obama-era Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule targeting coal-fired electric power plants.
    • Hoeven plans to lead a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to block the MATS rule, should it be finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • The EPA’s Clean Power Plan 2.0.
    • This proposal runs counter to a 2022 Supreme Court ruling that the EPA does not have the authority to issue sector-wide regulations that would force states to change their fuel sources for electricity generation.