Hoeven: Technology, State-Led Regulation & Infrastructure Investment Are Central to America’s Energy Future

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today kicked off the 2018 Great Plains and Empower ND Conference as part of a roundtable with the congressional delegation and Lt. Governor Brent Sanford on efforts to advance an all-of-the-above approach to energy production at the state and national level. 

Hoeven stressed the importance of developing cutting-edge new technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), in helping produce more energy with better environmental stewardship. Further, the senator outlined his work to provide regulatory relief to empower states to make the best use of all of their energy resources, while also supporting infrastructure investment to bring energy to market affordably, reliably and safely.

“Families and businesses rely on access to affordable and reliable energy every day, all across America,” Hoeven said. “This is essential to our quality of life, and we continue to move new technologies forward that will allow us achieve the dual goals of strong energy production and reducing emissions. Innovation will deliver these results, not burdensome and duplicative federal rules. That’s why we are working to alleviate the regulatory burden and make states the primary authority over energy development. Our infrastructure is also in need of repair and modernization to meet the demands of our economy and growing energy production. Accordingly, we are advancing measures to spur investment that will address this critical need.”

Advancing CCS Technology

As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to include the following priorities in the Fiscal Year 2019 funding legislation that was passed by Congress and signed into law last month:

  • $30 million to support the development of commercial-scale carbon capture technology to be retrofitted on an existing power plant, funding for which the next phase of Project Tundra would be eligible.
  • $25 million to develop supercritical CO2 technologies for coal and natural gas plants like the Allam Cycle.
  • Increased funding for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) carbon capture and storage research programs.
  • A provision supporting DOE’s cooperative agreements with institutions like the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota.

The senator also continues working to advance his CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, which would ensure developers of CCS projects can use the Section 45Q tax credit, as well as an extension of the Section 45 refined coal tax credit.

Providing Regulatory Relief 

  • Stopping the Waters of the U.S. Rule  Hoeven worked through the Appropriations Committee to defund the regulation in 2016 and 2017. Last year, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a proposal to roll back the rule and restore the regulations that were in place prior to WOTUS.
  • Repealing Burdensome Energy Regulations – Hoeven has joined Congress and the administration in rolling back regulations that hamper domestic energy production, including:
    • The EPA’s costly rules for coal-generating power plants.
    • The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule.
    • The moratorium on federal coal leasing.
    • The Stream Buffer Rule.
    • Cosponsoring and voting for a resolution to repeal the BLM methane rule.
  • Preventing Permit Delays for Oil & Gas Wells – Hoeven’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mineral Spacing Act would direct BLM to establish a pilot program to 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.

Supporting Infrastructure Investment

  • Streamlining Approval of Cross-Border Infrastructure – Hoeven recently reintroduced 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.
  • Expediting Gas-Gathering Infrastructure – Hoeven has worked to reduce natural gas flaring by addressing the BLM’s backlog of permit applications for gas-gathering infrastructure and pressing for workable, state-led regulations. The senator helped introduce the bipartisan Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act last Congress, which sets deadlines for and expedites the permitting of natural gas gathering lines on federal and Indian land.
  • Advancing the Use of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) – Hoeven reintroduced his Move America Act this Congress, which would provide tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to help fund P3s to grow and improve the country’s infrastructure. Qualified projects include roads, bridges, transit, ports, rail, airports, water and sewer facilities and broadband.
    • The senator is advocating the use of P3s, which provide greater flexibility to local governments, to help address the nation’s backlog of infrastructure projects, including those under the Army Corps.

Hoeven’s efforts dovetail with an executive order issued by the president last year to streamline the review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects. The order implemented a single, streamlined policy for federal decisions, with all relevant agencies working under a lead agency and signing a joint Record of Decision. The order also set a two-year goal to process all environmental documents for all major infrastructure projects.