Colstrip and Billings Landing a Visit by Trump’s Energy Secretary

President Trump’s Secretary of Energy is coming to Montana later this week. According to the Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Senator Steve Daines’ (R-MT) office, Colstrip and Billings will both serve as host to the member of President Trump’s cabinet.

Here’s the latest details from the Department of Energy:

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette will travel to Billings, Montana where he will engage with local officials and energy stakeholders in the state. On Friday, he will tour the Colstrip Power Plant and participate in a media availability.

Senator Daines says he wanted to bring the secretary to Montana “to meet directly with Montanans to discuss the importance of Montana energy jobs.” In a prepared statement, Daines added:

I’m excited to welcome Secretary Brouillette to Colstrip to meet with hardworking Montanans and talk about the importance of supporting Montana energy jobs and having a diverse energy portfolio.

Daines has been a long-standing supporter of both Colstrip, and jobs in coal production. His office shared a few pieces of legislation the senator believes could support Colstrip and other Montana coal communities:

1201: The EFFECT Act– This bipartisan bill has passed the Senate Energy Committee unanimously. It would direct DOE to research and develop carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies (CCUS). It would also create a large scale demonstration project at an existing plant. We hope that when this bill passes we can bring that project to Montana to create new CCUS jobs.

383: The USE IT Act– This bipartisan bill recently passed the Senate as part of the yearly National Defense Authorization Act. The bill directs the EPA to establish a program to incentivize direct air carbon capture technology and how to take the carbon and create a commercial project. This means that we could remove carbon from the air and then sell it in various commercial products like cement, insulation or even other fuels. This would create jobs and spur the economy.

2263: The CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act and S. 407: The Carbon Capture Modernization Act– These bills provide clarity, expand, and extend the 45Q tax credit, which is a tax incentive for the development of CCUS technology. Instead of taxing our way out of a problem we can incentivize new solutions and create jobs through the 45Q tax credit. Portions of these bills have already been enacted administratively.