A company in Trenton is among those vying for grants from the second round of North Dakota’s Clean Sustainable Energy Authority grants.
Clean Sustainable Energy authority has $ 17 million in grants left to make, and $ 115 million in loans, after recommending $ 28 million in grants and $ 135 million in loans in its first round of grant applications.
Eight applications are in round two, among them SAFuelsX, which has proposed building a renewable diesel or aviation fuel production plant in Trenton. It is requesting a $ 10 million grant and a $ 25 million loan for the project, which is estimated to cost $ 357 million to produce renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels.
Clean Sustainable Energy Authority plans to meet next at 11 am May 16 to consider its latest round of grant applicants. The technical committee met Monday, May 10, to develop recommendations.
SAFuelsX is a different company than the gas-to-liquids plant Cerilon has proposed building in the same general area.
On its website, SAFuelsX has said it plans to begin site preparation and small buildings in the spring of 2022. They have already obtained siting permits and approvals, including a federally mandated environmental assessment.
The plant is expected to take around 150 people per day to construct, with a peak employment of 300. It does not list how many would be employed full-time.
SAFuelsX plans to source incoming vegetable oil feedstocks from soybean or canola, both common MonDak crops to produce aviation or renewable diesel fuels. Feedstocks and products will be shipped via Savage Services.
In aviation fuel mode, the company expects to need 70 rail cars per day to ship its product out. They would use half that number in diesel fuel mode.
Initial capacity would be 10 rail cars per day of incoming vegetable oil, or 273,000 gallons per day.
Williams County has already approved a conditional use permit for AIC Corporation. On that application, the company says it will process 100 million gallons of renewable fuel per year, using either soybean or canola oil, on an 87-acre parcel in Buford Township.
John Melk is listed as the owner of AIC Energy Corporation, the parent company for SAFuelsX. AIC lists a Las Vegas, Nevada address.
Other applicants for CSEA’s Round two grant and loan funding process include:
Digital Stream Energy has requested a $ 15 million loan for a $ 58 million project involving flare mitigation / elimination through well site energy recovery and advanced computing.
Hydroil Solutions has requested $ 2.5 million grant for a $ 13.8 million project building a slurry injection well for TENORM disposal
Carbon America Developments and Midwest AgEnergy Group has requested $ 34.6 million loan for a $ 68.9 million project for capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide in McLean County
Enerplus Resources has requested a $ 9.055 million grant for an $ 18 million project for an internal combustion engine for carbon capture and sequestration.
Dakota Green Power has requested a $ 5.37 million grant for a $ 10.985 million project accelerating he waste-to-erngy commercialization pathway for the Sandwich Gasifier.
BWR Innovations has requested a $ 5.764 million grant for a $ 16.4 million project for a green hydrogen generation and storage system.
Minnkota Power has requested a $ 150 million loan for its $ 1.45 billion Project Tundra, a flagship carbon capture and sequestration project in North Dakota.
Fifth Circuit hearing Biden oil, gas lease sale case
Attorneys on both sides squared off in court with competing arguments for and against President Joe Biden’s moratorium on oil and gas lease sales.
Attorneys representing a 13-state coalition that filed suit against the moratorium argued that the Biden administration could not simply cancel lease sales without providing a reasoned analysis why previously approved sales were suddenly canceled.
Attorneys for the Biden administration, meanwhile, argued that lease sales have had a long history of cancellations and postponements for a variety of reasons. Postponing sales is not a particularly significant revision that runs afoul of the law, they argued.
The judges in the hearing signaled skepticism that any laws have been broken during the hearing, asking Louisiana’s attorney, Scott St. John, if the states he represents aren’t trying to “get ahead of everybody.”
It’s not known when the judges will issue a ruling. The case is Louisiana v. Biden, 21-30505, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
FERC continues to wrestle with climate change
Willie Phillips, President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission outlined his views on climate change at a recent Energy Bar Association speech.
Phillips sayid that scientifically backed reviews of climate change impacts must remain part of any revision to the agency’s pipeline approval policies.
Backlash on changes to FERC’s proposed pipeline approval policy forced the agency to backtrack and reconsider its proposal. That process is still in the works, with the agency split largely along party lines on how to handle the challenge.
SEC extending comment period for climate risk changes
Meanwhile, the SEC has announced it is reopening and extending its comment period for a proposal that would require publicly traded companies to disclose more about climate risks.
Critics of the proposal have questioned whether this should even be part of the SEC umbrella, which has more typically focused on financial reporting issues more directly related to products and services.
Advocates, meanwhile, say that issuers should tell investors how their capital is being used, and that it should not be outside the scope of the SEC authority.
Colonial faces $ 1 million fine
Regulators have proposed a $ 1 million fine for Colonial Pipeline for multiple probable violations of pipeline safety regulations, in connection with a successful cyberattack on the pipeline last year.
“The 2021 Colonial Pipeline incident reminds us that all meeting regulatory standards designed to mitigate risk to the public is an imperative,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “PHMSA holds companies accountable for violations and aims to prevent any instances of non-compliance.”
PHMSA says it based on the fine on its inspection of Colonial Pipeline Company’s procedures and records for Control Room Management, and determined the company was in probable violation of several safety rules, including failure to adequately plan and prepare for manual shutdown and restart of its pipeline system .
Colonial will have an opportunity to contest the ruling in full or in part. They may also request and receive an informal hearing before a presiding official of the agency prior to the proposed civil penalty being finalized.
For those interested in the nitty gritty details, the records of enforcement activity are online at https://tinyurl.com/ 3h3c5339.