Hoeven Updates City, County Leaders on New Highway Bill, Keystone Pipeline, Regional Haze, USGS Bakk ator John Hoeven briefed city and county leaders on the progress of legislation and other issues important to North Dakota,
under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Senator has strongly advocated for the building of this project, which will increase the North American oil supply of the United States by approximately 830,000 barrels a day, including 100,000 bpd from western North Dakota. If built, the Keystone XL pipeline would take up to 500 trucks a day off North Dakota roads, reducing impacts on infrastructure and making our highways safer.
Although the Hoeven amendment did not receive the 60 votes necessary for passage, a majority, 56 senators, voted in favor of the bill, including 11 Democrats. With the two additional Republican senators who were unable to vote that evening, Hoeven said the measure actually had the support of 58 senators, only two votes shy for passage. The bill has now been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and has 61 sponsors.
“Last week’s Senate vote showed real bipartisan support by a majority of senators for the Keystone XL project, which we will continue to push for based on its merits,” Hoeven said. “With a clear majority vote in the Senate, we believe the bill has momentum. Now, we will continue to work with the House and our colleagues in the Senate to see if we can approve it in conference committee on the highway bill or with other legislation.”
EPA Approves Majority of State Clean Air Plan
Following months of pushing by Hoeven, the congressional delegation and state leaders, the EPA agreed this month to adopt most of North Dakota’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) for reducing regional haze. The agency had previously proposed to overrule the state’s plan and mandate that North Dakota industry spend hundreds of millions of dollars on technology that the North Dakota Department of Health determined is technically infeasible and would result in visibility differences unnoticeable to the human eye.
“The EPA’s decision is very good news for our state and a step in the right direction,” said Hoeven. “We’ll continue working with the agency to ensure that the remainder of our state’s clean air plan is approved in a timely manner. North Dakota does a good job managing our resources and protecting our environment in a common-sense way.”
The EPA’s decision does the following:
Approves the SIP for Minnkota Power Cooperative’s Milton R. Young Station and Basin Electric’s Leland Olds Plant.
Requires additional control technology for Basin's Antelope Valley Station, which the state had earlier proposed but the EPA had previously rejected. If Basin Electric agrees to the suggestion, Antelope Valley Station will also be under the SIP.
While additional data is being collected and reviewed by the state and the EPA, Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Station will be subject to a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP). However, the EPA committed to an expedited review of the revised data, and Hoeven and the congressional delegation are hopeful it will also be included under the state plan when that new information is received.
U.S. Geological Survey Bakken Study Moving Forward