CoalBlue Project Applauds North Dakota Resolution in Support of Carbon Capture and Fuel Diversity

April 25, 2017

The CoalBlue Project commends the North Dakota Legislative Assembly for its passage yesterday, with overwhelming bipartisan support, of a resolution supportive of the accelerated development and deployment of carbon capture technologies and the preservation of fuel diversity in the United States.

House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 3037 was introduced by House Democratic Leader Corey Mock, and cosponsored by House Majority Leader Al Carlson, Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, Senate Democratic Leader Joan Heckaman, and others, and was passed by a vote of 74-16 in the House, and by voice vote in Senate.  The measure was supported unanimously by Democrats in both chambers.

“HCR 3037 is about promoting responsible energy development while addressing our nation’s economic, environmental, and national security needs,” Mock said following passage of the resolution. “North Dakota is one of our country’s leading energy producers, and this resolution makes clear our belief in the importance of energy diversity, and our support for new and emerging technologies that will improve efficiency and minimize environmental impact.”

The resolution urges Congress and the President to:

  • “enact legislation to expand and extend the current federal tax incentive for carbon capture, utilization, and storage under Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code;”
  • “provide appropriations to the U.S. Department of Energy sufficient to achieve and sustain a robust carbon capture research, development, demonstration, and deployment program;”
  • “support the inclusion of economically and environmentally beneficial carbon capture projects in any forthcoming federal infrastructure initiative;”
  • “support policies to increase the operational efficiency, and thereby the environmental performance, of existing electric-generating units in the United States;” and
  • “support the preservation of a fuel-diverse electric generation portfolio critical to our domestic economic, energy, and national security.”

“Given the reality that fossil fuels will remain an essential source of energy for decades to come, both in the United States and around the world, we applaud the North Dakota Legislative Assembly for the common sense wisdom it has shown in recognizing the importance of our learning to manage the carbon in such fuels, versus thinking they can be wished away,” said Zack Space, former Ohio Congressman and current CoalBlue Project Chairman.  “As we look to create a sustainable energy future, it is important we recognize there is no path to a low-carbon world that does not include low-carbon fossil fuels.”

According to former Mississippi State Representative and CoalBlue Project Vice Chairman Brandon Jones, “The diversity of interests – from environmental NGOs to organized labor to fossil energy producers – supportive of the 45Q tax credits demonstrates that we can address the environmental and energy challenges of our day in a cooperative way if we pause long enough to find common ground, rather than getting lost in what, at first blush, would seem to divide us.  In this regard, the strongly bipartisan nature of the action taken by the North Dakota Legislative Assembly is most encouraging and to be applauded.”

Legislation to enhance the 45Q tax credits for carbon capture was introduced in the 114th Congress last year, by Representative Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and is expected to be reintroduced shortly in the 115th Congress.

The resolution passed by the North Dakota Legislative Assembly is similar to resolutions passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives (Resolution 176) and Senate (Resolution 182) last month.

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Jon Wood
(410) 662-2130


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