Nitrogen from fertilizers and manures washed off farmland costs Americans $157 billion a year in damages to human health and the environment. That is the stunning conclusion an international scientific team published Feb. 17 in the journal Environmental Research Letters. [Environmental Working Group]Despite the war being conducted by South Dakota's GOP governor and congressional delegation against the US Environmental Protection Agency the courts are upholding its mission.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a pair of high-profile lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's sweeping plan to address climate change, saying it's too early to challenge a proposed rule that isn't yet final. The states challenging the EPA plan are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin. [Associated Press]Marty Jackley is one of nine Republican attorneys general joining a lawsuit that could undermine the Endangered Species Act by excluding private property from enforcement.
The South Dakota proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement for sage grouse is up for a 60-day governor’s review and has a 30-day limit for public contesting. The final environmental impact statement (EIS) will provide the administration of BLM-administered surface land and is the byproduct of years of public process. [Black Hills Pioneer]So-called 'Americans for Prosperity' a Koch-funded group with a lobbyist based in Sioux Falls signaled to legislators that they will lose campaign funding from the Kochs unless they act to reverse the progress the US Environmental Protection Agency has made in South Dakota.
South Dakota's GOP legislators and candidates have enjoyed millions in lobbyist benefits from the Kochs' contribution arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council; the state's junior senator was elected with cash from ALEC-backed National Federation of Independent Business.
The Kochs own Kansas and millions of acres of Canadian tar sands leases but the courts and voter participation can stop their efforts to run the climate-killing Keystone XL over private land using eminent domain.
A Capital Journal survey of South Dakota state lawmakers done before the 2014 general election showed that of those lawmakers who responded, only one-third believed human-induced climate change is occurring. In contrast, half of those who responded do not believe that humans are causing climate change. Though some South Dakota lawmakers from both parties believe that human-induced climate change is occurring, there’s no bipartisan support for the idea that human-induced climate change is not occurring. That side of the issue is driven entirely by one party – Republicans – giving the discussion of climate change a distinctly partisan flavor. [Joel Ebert]Nutcase South Dakota legislator, Betty Olson supports the Koch-funded American Lands Council which seeks to seize federal lands for GOP donors in red states. Wyoming's earth rapers in the legislature are studying it as is Idaho.
When asked whether human-induced climate change is currently occurring:
• 3 percent said yes (6 Republicans, 13 Democrats)
• 48 percent said no (27 Republicans, 0 Democrats) [Joel Ebert, Pierre Capital Journal]In stark contrast:
• Recognize that the effects of Climate Change are and will continue to negatively impact South Dakota, and urge Federal, State, and local governments to adopt policies that manage those effects.
• Support Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new carbon standards for coal fire power plants
• Enforcement of our state and federal environmental laws must be strictly enforced. Those responsible for polluting and/or degrading the quality of South Dakota land, air, or water must be held responsible for their actions. Prompt clean-up must be conducted at the expense of the responsible parties.A reader of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader knows why the GOP-dominated legislature chooses cluelessness:
Furthermore, all 34 GOP-solid states will soon be pressured by ALEC, the well-known S.D. legislative crony/lobbyist, who will want state-level obstruction to EPA and nullification of the Fed Clean Power Plan. Proof abounds that we are already in the Earth’s sixth extinction period. Climate disruption is more than a potential threat. Global warming is an absolute certainty. Therefore, climate disruption will continue to plague the planet. Climate disruption has already played its hand in recent years and in various ways. Therefore, the heating of our planet will continue for many decades regardless of what we do. We simply want to slow the process down. [David L. Wegner, Congress’ budget jeopardizes life on Earth]South Dakota voters need to be alerted to these dark money efforts to end environmental protection in the state and the Democratic Party supports EPA's mission to protect South Dakota's waterways.
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SDDP delegates debate the platform during the state convention in Yankton.