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Cramer Questions Energy Secretary Moniz on Carbon Capture and Enhanced Oil Recovery

Jun 18, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer questioned U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on the Obama Administration’s policy toward enhanced oil recovery research at a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Cramer highlighted North Dakota’s leadership role in capturing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants for enhanced oil recovery, and the research effort at the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership at the University of North Dakota.

Cramer said the Department of Energy should continue to fund research in carbon capture at sites including the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center because of its proven benefits to consumers.

“Geologically, there are lots of opportunities when you have eight billion or more barrels of recoverable oil at current technology like we have North Dakota, and an 800-year supply of coal we would like to burn for a very long time to generate low-cost electricity,” said Cramer.

Last week, Cramer spoke out on the Obama Administration’s sudden increase of the cost of carbon emissions, which could trigger a new wave of environmental regulations. In a lengthy technical report quietly slipped into an update on microwave oven efficiency standards, the cost of carbon emissions was increased by more than 60 percent, from $22 to $36 per metric ton.

Because government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are required to perform a cost-benefit analysis of any new regulation, the revised carbon figure will have the effect of making the real costs of regulations on business and consumers appear reduced in comparison to the inflated, theoretical benefit of reducing carbon emissions.

"Virtually overnight, every motor vehicle, coal-fired power plant, kitchen appliance, and any other activity or object which produces carbon has become 60% more undesirable in the eyes of the Obama Administration. This secretive change could open the floodgates for more EPA regulations, the costs of which will be passed onto working taxpayers in the form of higher costs for gasoline, electricity, and everything we produce, grow, and manufacture. North Dakotans currently enjoy the lowest price for both natural gas and electricity of any state. Instead of asking us how we do it, the Obama Administration is trying to dismantle it,” said Cramer on the carbon cost hike.

Dr. Ernest Moniz was sworn in as the 13th Secretary of Energy on May 21. Congressman Cramer is a member of the Natural Resources and Science, Space and Technology Committees, including the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, and the Subcommittee on Energy of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.