Burgum issues statement on Affordable Clean Energy Rule proposed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 12:30pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today released the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule as a replacement to the Clean Power Plan imposed under the previous administration.

“The Clean Power Plan was a federal overreach of the EPA’s authority that threatened to erode the baseload reliability of our nation’s power grid and hurt consumers with higher electric rates,” Burgum said. “This new rule proposes a more balanced approach that will enable states like North Dakota to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy in an environmentally sound manner without the burdensome constraints of a one-size-fits-all federal policy. North Dakotans want to utilize our energy resources efficiently and with common sense, and our coal industry is working to further curb emissions and add value to carbon dioxide through innovative technologies such as Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle as we continue to enjoy the second-cleanest air in the country. We thank the Trump administration and EPA for giving states the flexibility under this new rule to reduce emissions while providing affordable, reliable power and promoting job creation, economic growth and energy independence through more innovation, not regulation.”

The proposed ACE rule establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit greenhouse gases at coal-fired electric generating units and power plants. It replaces the Obama-era Clean Power Plan standards, which have been on hold since the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in February 2016 at the request of 27 states, including North Dakota, as well as dozens of trade associations and rural electric cooperatives.

“First indications are that the new EPA proposed rule will promote the historical federal-state partnership where EPA establishes the procedures and the states determine the standard and appropriate implementation strategy,” said Dave Glatt, chief of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Environmental Health Section. “By emphasizing an inside-the-fence-line approach and utilizing available and applicable technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the new rule would follow the historically established evaluation and implementation practices under the federal Clean Air Act.”

The EPA plans to accept public comment on the proposed ACE rule for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Last week, Burgum and Sanford welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to North Dakota, highlighting how the lignite coal industry has invested billions of dollars to reduce emissions while still producing three-quarters of North Dakota’s electricity, supplying power to 2 million customers in North Dakota and beyond and creating a $3 billion impact on the state’s economy.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission, which Burgum chairs, has committed $3.2 million to identify and reduce barriers to post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide and $1.5 million for CarbonSAFE, a carbon storage feasibility study. The state Legislature has provided roughly $5 million for Allam Cycle research, and the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $6 million earlier this year to Project Tundra to retrofit the coal power plant near Center with technology for capturing carbon dioxide that could then be used for enhanced oil recovery.