Cross-state pollution? Say it ain't so, Marty.
South Dakota suffers the highest breast cancer rates in America due in large part to emissions from coal-fired electricity generating plants in Montana and Wyoming.
How bad does it have to get before Marty Jackley files lawsuits against Black Hills Energy, Basin Electric, NorthWestern Energy, Otter Tail and/or the Colstrip Generating Station?
Jackley got campaign cash from NWE last cycle; so did a bunch of other South Dakota Republicans.
Colstrip's co-operator, Talen Energy gives far more campaign cash to Republicans. Puget Sound Energy gave loads to Max Baucus.
Montana's Department of Environmental Quality will oversee the cleanup and remediation of power plants. It is currently working with Colstrip owners on cleanup plans for the coal ash ponds servicing the power plants. Those ponds of toxic coal ash and water have contaminated Colstrip groundwater over the last 30 years. In 2015, it was the nation's 15th-largest producer of greenhouse gases, emitting 13.5 million metric tons annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It was the Sierra Club, in partnership with the Montana Environmental Information Center, that brought against Puget and Talen the clean air lawsuit that ended in the companies agreeing to shutter Colstrip's two oldest units. [Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette]Xcel Energy enjoyed a 4 percent rate hike from the South Dakota Public Utility Cartel (SDPUC) but reduced its request in Colorado.
In 2014, Xcel gave $10,000 to Mike Rounds, $2,500 to John Thune and $4,250 to Kristi Noem. In 2016 Black Hills Corp. gave Thune and Noem wads of cash, too. Basin Electric doled out $270,000 in 2016 alone. Oil and gas found Mike Rounds' zerk, too.
No taxes, a compliant regulator and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal.
Now we know why South Dakota's GOP congressional delegation wants cheap dirty coal.
Environmental group Environment America in January 2011 released a report ranking power plants according to the amount of mercury the plant emits into the air and soil. The group, using EPA data, ranked a Montana power company the 11th-largest coal-fired polluter of mercury in the nation and the worst among those in Western states. According to its report, ”Dirty Energy’s Assault on our Health: Mercury,” Colstrip Steam Electric Station emitted 1,490 pounds of mercury in 2009. This accounted for most of the 1,726 pounds of mercury released by all of Montana’s power plants that year. [SourceWatch]Rapid City Journal:
Coal-fired power plants like those operating across the region are easy targets when it comes to fixing blame for mercury pollution, because they do release mercury in their emissions. Trevor Selch, a former South Dakota State University doctoral student now working as a biologist in Montana, did research on the mercury impacts in South Dakota from 2004 to 2007. He sampled about 1,000 fish for mercury during that time and saw strong evidence of “the reservoir effect.”Here is more from the eastern South Dakota chapter of the Sierra Club:
Anglers who come to South Dakota for toxin-free fishing may soon lose that luxury and South Dakota, in turn, will lose the revenue from fishing tourism. Mercury contamination is harder to repair than farm run-off---like cleaning up mercury from a broken thermometer, it's hard to do. Also, the costly burden of clean-up is too often on the State and local governments and not the polluter. Since mercury removal is often too much for state governments; it is easier to tell the public not to eat the fish.Republicans are evil.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is staffed by Republicans so they're pushovers for rate increases by companies who bankroll their elections to the posts they hold.
Public Service New Mexico (PNM) was denied a rate increase because that state has a vigorous two party system where steamrolling over the state's power commission, made up of representatives from both political parties, is improbable. PNM has been sent back to the drawing board to rewrite its proposal for an increase.
Imagine such folly happening in South Dakota.
Despite all this, some 15 states are currently petitioning in Federal court to thwart President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to cut carbon emissions from power plants within the next 15 years. These states include West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Some of these states, such as West Virginia, are heavily reliant on the coal industry. Others simply don’t like the federal government. [Moyers and Company]As Kristie Fiegen circles the drain wracked by cancer caused by Jackley's partisanship South Dakotans wholly expect their GOP governor to appoint another campaign donor to the post after she croaks.
It's not bad enough that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has enjoyed greasing from coal-backed utilities the Bureau of Land Management lets these rapers mine on public lands for next to nothing.
July was the hottest month in recorded history driven in large part by greenhouse gases emitted by mining and burning coal.
Socialized military, socialized timber harvest, socialized ag and livestock industries and socialized coal: GOP hypocrisy on parade.
If South Dakota had a Democratic attorney general she'd sue Montana and Wyoming for the toxic legacy created by Colstrip, Basin Electric and Black Hills Energy.