(Bismarck, ND) -- Governor Doug Burgum has signed a bill into law providing tax relief for North Dakota's lignite coal industry. House Bill 1412 exempts the state's coal-fired plants from the ND Coal Conversion Facility Tax for the next five years. The governor's office claims this saves the industry over $20-million dollars a year, this Burgum says could allow the coal industry to invest in carbon capture and sequestration that could curb emissions.
“This bill represents an opportunity to level the playing field for the lignite industry,” Burgum said at the Lignite Energy Council’s annual meeting today at the Ramada Inn in Bismarck. “I’m honored to sign this historic bill today. … We know that that tax relief is going to help this industry remain competitive.”
In addition to HB 1412, coal-related legislation signed by Burgum this session includes:
HB 1455, which ensures counties are included in the utility planning process.
SB 2152, which adds geologic storage of carbon dioxide to the sales and use tax exemption.
SB 2206, which allows utilities to recover costs for carbon capture.
SB 2237, which will ensure that the state Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) regulation of coal plants does not exceed federal requirements.
SB 2238, which gives the DEQ flexibility for regional haze standards.
SB 2287, which will study how best to address the increasing cost of coal insurance.
SB 2313, which will ensure the state has annual reports on the status and health of its electric grid.
SB 2317, which gives flexibility to coal companies to use their non-monetary assets as collateral to combat rising bonding and surety costs.
“There are some people in this country who would like to regulate this industry out of business. I think that’s wrongheaded. It’s bad policy. It would hurt our country,” Burgum said, crediting the Trump administration for progress on U.S. energy independence that spurred jobs and manufacturing. “We finally got ourselves in the position with energy policy where we could sell energy to our friends and allies versus buy it from our enemies. … Now we’re back facing a lot of headwinds, but you can count on us to be fighting there with you.”