A variety of energy and coal-related topics were addressed by U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) on Wednesday, April 29. Approximately 150 members of the Lignite Energy Council attended the online Townhall. The call was hosted by Jason Bohrer, president and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council, and members were given the opportunity to ask the senator questions.
Senator Cramer began the call by talking about the coronavirus pandemic and financial packages connected with the current crisis. He noted the importance of baseload energy sources, including coal and nuclear during this critical time.
As the House and Senate look at future bills to restart the country’s economy, he said the two chambers will likely have different focuses. The Senate will look at what businesses and institutions still need federal dollars caused by the impact of the pandemic while the House will be looking at implementing components of the Green New Deal, a proposal to end the use of fossil fuels and promote more intermittent, renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Cramer also talked about the importance of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and funding for research and development projects by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of President Trump’s policy platform to ensure the use of domestic coal as a future energy resource.
The production tax credit for wind turbines was another topic of discussion. The Senator said that the time for the PTC to incentivize renewable projects has long passed, and he noted that he wrote and led a recent letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with a list of items that he and other senators would like considered in future energy legislation.
Looking ahead to the November election, he said the distinctions between President Trump and his challenger Joe Biden couldn’t be starker. “These differences will be apparent when the two men engage in head-to-head debates prior to the election,” Cramer stated.
The Townhall meeting was arranged because the Lignite Energy Council had cancelled its Annual Meeting in mid-April where the Senator was scheduled to speak.
“We appreciate the Senator’s time and his willingness to participate in this online Townhall,” Bohrer said.