Monday, May 11, 2015

Nothing happens in South Dakota without federal money

France now controls each end of South Dakota.

A bentonite mining firm that operates near Belle Fourche signed a merger agreement with the French company Imerys.
Estimates are that more than 60 percent of cat litter used in the North American marketplace come from the Colony plant. The company is one of two in the area that are major customers of rail transportation on the former DM&E line. [Milo Dailey]
The vast majority of bentonite mined near Belle and Colony, Wyoming, where it is loaded onto rail cars at a plant owned by Halliburton, is on public ground. Most of that is prime habitat for the threatened sage grouse and under lease from the US Bureau of Land Management.
The city of Belle Fourche’s grant requests for the design and construction of a railway for the industrial park have been tabled, denied, withdrawn, or are still pending. A federal grant was also applied for, and the Department of Transportation grant that was announced for more governor released funds intended for rail projects, is still pending. That pending request was for $1.8 million. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Todd Keller, a former Belle Fourche mayor questions the boondoggle.
Keller spoke to the outgoing and new council questioning the value of the $8.4 million Industrial Rail Park, and suggested that the city should end the project, which could happen if the key rail spur element is removed. The Belle Fourche City Council in December applied for $2.2 million in a federal Economic Development Administration grant toward the planned Industrial Rail Park rail terminal project. If the grant request is approved, the funding will go toward the $8.4 million total project that would literally put rails into the new Industrial Rail Park for an on-load and offload facility. It would serve much of western South Dakota and nearby areas of neighboring states. So far the city has invested approximately $2.85 million in the rail park, including utilities and streets, from its budgeted $4.5 million. [Milo Dailey]
A Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad off-load facility in Belle Fourche would go unused.

A call to an RCP&E executive this morning has revealed that the firm supports the loading expansion in Belle Fourche. She also said that the line between Crawford and Dakota Junction, Nebraska connecting to Rapid City is active and hauling bentonite south to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and to Union Pacific.

She said that although there is virtually no westbound shipping over the line between Wolsey and Rapid City, South Dakota or Colony, Wyoming the State of South Dakota subsidizes enough siding development, money that the state receives from the federal government through the transportation bill, that shipments of one-way freight allow the railroad to cash flow. The state owns the right of way.

The railroad is content to move product at ten miles an hour between Wall and Fort Pierre where Cretaceous shale buckles track bed every year.

She also said that at this time RCP&E has no intention to secure leases for new rail bed from Colony to the Powder River Basin coal fields and that the railroad won't transport coal across South Dakota.

When asked she could not say whether the company's parent, Genesee & Wyoming is talking to that state or its residents about leasing the relatively short distance from Colony to its rights on the BSNF main line near Gillette.

Volcanic clays like bentonite make radioactive waste repositories such as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico possible.

Adjacent to RCP&E's holdings east river federal money built the salted fat plant in Brookings for French company, Bel Brands. The dairy industry supporting it relies on H2-A immigrants, farm bill subsidies and cheap water then gives back to the community by making the Big Sioux River the 13th most polluted waterway in the US.

The federal transportation bill expires again at the end of May with the likelihood of another extension.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

All part of the Pay to Play SDGOP Donor base program that will turn East River into a giant CAFO w/ the James and Big Sewer animal waste evacuation system.

Do the Hutterites pay taxes on their operations? I hope they do not get a religious exemption.

South Dakota turning into a heavily armed, sex trafficking right wing so called Christian religious caliphate.

I feel for our Native brothers and sisters!

South Dakota Escapee

larry kurtz said...

Exactly, hypocrisy is the rule of the day in South Dakota: "do as I say but ignore what I do."

Thanks for coming by!