Energy overhaul needed
ABERDEEN, S.D. -- Energy sources -- all energy sources -- need to be developed and expanded. And South Dakota is in the right place at the right time when it comes to energy. First, Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck, N.D., announced ea...
ABERDEEN, S.D. -- Energy sources -- all energy sources -- need to be developed and expanded.
And South Dakota is in the right place at the right time when it comes to energy.
First, Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck, N.D., announced earlier this year that its preferred site to build a $2 billion, coal-fired plant to generate electricity is in South Dakota's Walworth County, near Selby.
We think that's great. It means jobs, economic development and energy generation.
And although President-elect Obama has indicated he dislikes such operations for environmental reasons, supporters of the Basin Electric plant are hopeful.
"It is a concern, but not a huge concern," says Gary Steuck of Mobridge, S.D., chairman of the North Central Power Plant Task Force. "Once (Obama) gets face-to-face with all the facts and needs for this country, he is going to moderate his position."
Coal is a time-tested source of energy, Basin Electric is a responsible company and technology in terms of air quality improvement is at an all-time high.
Second, Hyperion Resources of Texas is considering Union County for an $8 billion refinery to produce diesel fuel and gasoline -- about 400,000 barrels a day. The refinery would be the first new refinery in the country in decades and could supply all the fuel that's needed in South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska, according to South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds.
Third, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has made a smart move in Congress. She sent a written request to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank requesting that to access federal financing, U.S. automakers should: renew their commitment to meet or exceed fuel economy standards set for them by Congress; agree not to block widespread adoption of mid-range ethanol blends such as E15 for use in standard vehicles; and meet the goal for 50 percent production of flex-fuel vehicles by or before 2012.
These are the sorts of demands we need to be making of our government.
We've long been supporters of various types of alternative energy sources -- from ethanol to biodiesel to wind energy -- largely because strengthening those industries brings a double bonus: Doing so should help lessen U.S. dependency on foreign oil and bring more opportunity and industry to South Dakota.
For energy expansion to happen in South Dakota, there needs to be some serious infrastructure growth and enhancement -- to accommodate, wind, oil, coal and, yes, even nuclear energy.
Now, more than ever, is the time to be open to all energy sources.
Consider the facts. According to the Energy Information Administration, America has 5 percent of the world's population but consumes more than 20 percent of the planet's resources and about a quarter of all the energy used in the world.
Let's do all we can to secure and develop the independent sources of energy we have available.
- Aberdeen (S.D.) American News