Hoeven Secures Commitment from Secretary Perry to Visit North Dakota & See Work of UND's EERC, Red Trail Energy & Project Tundra

Senator Secured Funding to Support CCS Projects for Both Traditional & Renewable Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven secured a commitment from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to come to North Dakota and learn firsthand about the work of the University of North Dakota’s (UND) Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) and its partners to develop carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies for both traditional and renewable energy resources, including: 

  • Project Tundra, a post-combustion technology to retrofit existing power plants, being led by Minnkota Power, as well as BNI Coal and Allete Clean Energy.
  • Red Trail’s efforts to capture CO2 from its ethanol plant, allowing it to export to states with low carbon fuel standards. 

Hoeven also secured a commitment from the Secretary to work together to streamline permitting for energy development and the infrastructure needed to move it to market.  

Advancing the Development of CCS Technology

“The EERC is working to crack the code on CCS technologies and make them commercially-viable, for both traditional and renewable energy,” said Hoeven. “That’s not just going to reduce emissions here, but it will also have global benefits as we export this technology to other nations. We appreciate Secretary Perry’s willingness to visit North Dakota again and learn more about our CCS projects, like Project Tundra and Red Trail’s ethanol plant. Giving the Secretary this firsthand knowledge will be important as EERC and its partners work to secure federal funding for the upcoming phases of their efforts.”

As a member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured strong funding for the following programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations legislation to benefit the EERC’s efforts:

  • The Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Initiative.
  • Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Studies.
  • The Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative.

The senator’s invitation to Secretary Perry, which follows Hoeven hosting him in the state last summer, will help EERC and its partners as they compete for funding from these DOE programs. Further, Hoeven emphasized to Perry the importance of continued funding for these and other Fossil Energy Research and Development programs at DOE, and he will work to ensure they are maintained in FY2020.

To further bolster CCS efforts, Hoeven recently introduced the Carbon Capture Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation to modernize the 48A tax credit for clean coal facilities to better support CO2 capture retrofit projects, like Project Tundra. Hoeven also continues working to reintroduce legislation to make the Section 45Q tax credit more accessible by aligning its tax guidelines with existing federal regulations and to extend the Section 45 refined coal tax credit.

Streamlining Energy & Infrastructure Permitting

“Whether you’re producing traditional or renewable energy, you’re going to need transportation. So, as we work to provide regulatory relief for energy development, we are also streamlining the approval process for the infrastructure we need to affordably deliver that power. This helps produce both cost-savings and greater safety, because it will allow us to replace aging infrastructure with the latest, greatest technology,” Hoeven said.

The senator’s efforts to advance energy and infrastructure development include:

  • Streamlining Approval of Cross-Border Infrastructure – Hoeven is working to reintroduce his North American Energy Infrastructure Act, which would prevent unnecessary delays for important energy infrastructure projects like pipelines and electrical transmission lines that cross the national boundaries between the U.S. and Canada or Mexico.
  • Preventing Permit Delays for Oil & Gas Wells – The senator’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act, which he reintroduced in January, would waive the requirement for a federal permit when less than 50 percent of subsurface minerals are owned or held in trust by the federal government and there is no federal surface land. Hoeven’s legislation is also included in the ONSHORE Act, a bill he introduced with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to empower states with the authority to manage oil and gas permitting on federal lands within their borders.