Monday, September 8, 2014

RCPE employees vote to join international union

In short-line labor news, a majority of Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad Inc. (RCP&E) workers on Aug. 27 voted in favor of joining the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division. Launched on June 1 after its owner Genesee & Wyoming Inc. acquired the former Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) west end line from Canadian Pacific earlier this year, RCP&E operates 670 miles of track predominantly in South Dakota, with segments in Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming. The DM&E's workers previously were represented by the United Transportation Union, which through a merger helped form the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. [Progressive Railroading], links are mine.
The new Rapid City Pierre and Eastern Railroad is owned by the same multinational, Genesee and Wyoming, as the rail link handling Powder River coal with access to the siding in Newcastle, Wyoming; but, RCPE has no track going north to the frack zone.
South Dakota Proppants says it has found sand deposits about 15 miles southwest of Hill City that it says is of sufficient quality to be used in the fracking process. And because the proposed mine’s location is close to the Bakken oil fields, it would give SDP an advantage over competitors. The company has secured 1,750 acres of claims in the area it wants to mine. The company would have to get an operating permit from the state Board of Minerals and Environment and water permits from the state Water Management Board, a process that could take at least two years. The estimated jobs and annual revenues of the proposed sand mine compares favorably with the more controversial proposed Powertech in situ uranium mine near Edgemont. [Rapid City Journal editorial]
US85 north of Belle Fourche is already crumbling and over capacity so adding more traffic is senseless.

Santa Fe County rallied to stop basalt mining on La Bajada: will enough people in Custer or Pennington Counties care enough to protect the Black Hills?

Doubtful.

More South Dakota fracking news linked here.

Until a serious mass transit system happens on the rez industrializing the land makes little sense. Put the old Milwaukee rail bed back into passenger service between Sioux Falls and Rapid City with stops in Kadoka, Belvidere and Murdo. After upgrades the new RCPE spur from RC to Dakota Junction could handle passenger service, too.

The Rail Runner between south of ABQ and Santa Fe goes through several pueblos and is well-supported with stops in each community: it has brought at least access to prosperity in an historically poor state.

Stock in Genesee & Wyoming has been sliding after insiders, including the company's Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President, and its Director, unloaded several thousand shares after a buy recommendation.


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