U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today applauded the announced agreement between Cloud Peak Energy and JERA Trading to supply coal from Montana-based Spring Creek Mine to two power plants currently under construction in Japan.
“This is exciting news for Montana jobs, including tribal jobs, and state and local tax coffers as well. Montana coal is high quality and low sulphur, high efficiency, and it’s playing an important role in meeting global demand for low-cost energy,” said Daines. “Unfortunately, the lack of export infrastructure is holding back our Montana mines from being able to fully meet the growing demand. It’s time for job-creating projects like the Millennium Bulk Terminal to be approved.”
According to Cloud Peak Energy, an average 40 percent of the selling price of every ton of coal produced at the Spring Creek Mine is paid back to local, state, and federal government treasuries through taxes, fees, and royalties. The Spring Creek mine supports over 300 jobs. According to press reports in 2017, Japan is replacing 54 nuclear reactors with 45 new coal-fired power plants equipped with the latest clean coal technology. Demand for affordable energy and coal continues to rise in China and South Korea as well. According to the International Energy Agency, Southeast Asia’s energy demand grows by almost two-thirds. With more access to the global market through domestic ports, like the Millenium Bulk Terminal, Montana coal could help meet that demand.
Coal produced at Cloud Peak Energy’s Spring Creek Mine, located near Decker, Montana, will be carried by the BNSF Railway to Westshore Terminals at Roberts Bank, Vancouver, for loading onto ocean going vessels for subsequent delivery to two new state-of-the-art Integrated coal Gasification Combined Cycle (“IGCC”) coal-fired power plants in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The two 540-megawatt IGCC plants are being developed by Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd., along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Incorporated and Joban Joint Power Co., Ltd. The first new IGCC plant is scheduled to commence operation in September 2020.
Daines met with Secretary General Joseph Wu where they discussed the importance of expanding markets for Montana beef and wheat as well as for Montana coal.
Daines secured $342 million for the U.S. Department of Energy to foster carbon capture and storage technologies for new and existing power plants.
Daines introduced legislation to permanently extend the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit (ICPTC).
Daines applauded the U.S. Department of the Interior for working to rescind the Consolidated Federal Oil and Gas, Federal and Indian Rule.
Daines praised the action taken by U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke to reinstate the Royalty Policy Committee, end the coal-leasing moratorium, and withdraw the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule.
Daines introduced two resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).