NORTH DAKOTA - Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer have reintroduced legislation to extend the refined coal tax credit. The credit incentivizes power plants to pre-treat or refine coal to improve efficiency and decrease emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.

The credit incentivizes power plants to pre-treat or refine coal to improve efficiency and decrease emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.

“The refined coal tax credit is a win-win for our nation, as it both supports the continued use of our abundant coal resources, a critical source of baseload power for the grid, while also improving environmental stewardship,” said Senator Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Our legislation would extend this cost-effective incentive for an additional 10 years and give a new opportunity for facilities to quality for the tax credit. That means greater adoption of this important technology and further emissions reductions.”

Calculator     • Invented by:  Blaise Pascal     • Age when invented:  18     • Invented in:  1642 Blaise Pascal was a noted French mathematician, physicist, and theologian, and he also is credited with inventing what is considered an early calculator. Pascal created the device to help his father, who was a tax collector, figure out taxes more easily. His invention was called the Pascaline, which operated with a numerical wheel calculator that featured movable dials, with each dial representing a digit. Pascal continued to make improvements on the device and made dozens of versions of the machine.

“The United States has to utilize reliable energy sources like coal if we want to ensure our citizens can keep the power on any day of the year. Look no further than Texas and California for proof. But each energy resource has a role it can play in being good stewards of our environment,” said Senator Cramer, a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee member. “Our legislation extends the refined coal tax credit to give producers more opportunities to further develop and implement clean coal technologies, which will help us lower emissions while maintaining a necessary supply of reliable energy.”

All facilities currently eligible to claim the refined coal tax credit must have been placed in service before December 31, 2011. The Hoeven-Cramer legislation would allow these facilities to continue claiming the credit for an additional 10 years.

Tax hikes

The bill also establishes a 3-year window, from December 31, 2020 through January 1, 2024, in which new coal facilities utilizing refined coal would be able to qualify for the credit. This would not only benefit the coal-generating power plants in North Dakota that use refined coal, it will also support the work of the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center, which provides services to facilities around the nation to verify that the refined coal meets the standards required to claim the credit.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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