Climate change

A no-till field at Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Hughes County. (Colette Kessler, USDA NRCS South Dakota)

Climate change makes farm bill conservation programs crucial

BY: - November 28, 2023

While people from around the country think of South Dakota as the home of Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, we are at our core a state powered and defined by our farms and ranches. Agriculture is the South Dakota’s top producing industry, generating almost $12 billion for the economy […]

Falls Park in Sioux Falls. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

‘We’re going to have these conversations’: New sustainability coalition forms in Sioux Falls

BY: - November 16, 2023

A newly formed coalition is encouraging more conversation around sustainability efforts and policy in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. The Sioux Falls Sustainability Coalition is made up of already established organizations in South Dakota, including environmental groups SoDak350, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (which has chapters in Sioux Falls and Rapid City) and Dakota Rural Action, as […]

Prairie grass sways in the wind in western South Dakota. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Three SD projects receive a combined $51 million for climate-smart agriculture

BY: - November 11, 2023

A land trust, state university and conservation group will receive a combined total of $51 million in federal funding to incentivize “climate-smart” agriculture in South Dakota.  The biggest grant went to Ducks Unlimited, a hunter-led organization focused on habitat conservation. It was awarded $25 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to restore over 25,000 […]

An oil pumpjack casts a shadow on a wall as it pulls oil from the Permian Basin oil field on March 14, 2022, in Odessa, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Critics allege CO2 pipelines ‘farm the government’ for climate money while helping oil industry

BY: - November 10, 2023

Plans to capture carbon dioxide emitted by ethanol plants, ship it via pipelines and store it underground are viewed by some as a way to fight climate change. The process is one way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, where it acts as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. But critics say the process known […]

An ethanol plant near Aberdeen. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

New bills raise debate over ethanol’s environmental impact, with implications for the climate

BY: - November 10, 2023

South Dakota’s congressional delegation wants the federal government to measure the environmental impact of biofuels in a way that some researchers say is unlikely to help mitigate climate change. Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson, both Republicans, recently reintroduced similar bipartisan bills in the Senate and House, with Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, cosponsoring […]

Millions of grassland acres lost in Great Plains, new research report says

BY: - October 26, 2023

The Great Plains lost 1.6 million acres of grasslands in 2021. That’s according to a World Wildlife Fund report released on Thursday, detailing the loss of grasslands in the U.S. and Canadian Great Plains. From 2012 to 2021, grassland conversion in the Great Plains totaled 32 million acres, or 50,000 square miles.  The Plowprint report […]

(Courtesy of Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy)

‘So many ways hydrogen can go wrong’: Hub announcements viewed with caution

BY: - October 13, 2023

The Friday announcement that seven projects had been selected to receive $7 billion in seed money to kickstart the production of clean hydrogen across the country was billed by President Joe Biden’s administration as a major step toward slashing carbon emissions, creating thousands of domestic jobs and positioning the U.S. as a clean energy leader. […]

A wind turbine on a farmer's land near Aberdeen. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Wind is South Dakota’s role in ‘hydrogen hub’

BY: - October 13, 2023

Hydrogen power may soon spread across the country thanks to federal grants, and South Dakota wind turbines could provide some of the electricity to make it.  Hydrogen, as a gas, transforms into water when burned as fuel. While hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuels — and used in industries such as oil refining, steel […]

The White House in Washington, D.C., on Sautrday, March 26, 2022. (Marisa Demarco/Source New Mexico)

Biden administration to send $7 billion for clean hydrogen hubs in 16 states

BY: - October 13, 2023

The Biden administration is directing $7 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law to build seven regional hydrogen power hubs in 16 states, the White House announced Friday. The projects, each of which is a cluster of assets that produce and process hydrogen fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels, will benefit the climate, the economy […]

The route of the proposed Heartland Greenway pipeline. (Courtesy of Navigator CO2)

Navigator pulls pipeline application in Illinois after rejection in South Dakota

BY: - October 10, 2023

Navigator CO2 on Tuesday moved to withdraw its carbon dioxide pipeline permit application in Illinois, effectively halting its project. The motion comes about a week before the Illinois Commerce Commission was set to hold an evidentiary hearing for the application. The company’s proposed 1,350-mile pipeline system suffered a setback in South Dakota in September when […]

High-voltage electrical power lines. (Anton Petrus/Getty Images)

$9 billion project aims to bridge east and west power grids, accelerate renewable energy

BY: - October 6, 2023

There are few wind turbines west of the Missouri River in South Dakota, and some experts say a lack of transmission lines is the main reason.  A group of energy consultants is raising money to study a potential project that could change that. The $9 billion transmission line would unite the eastern and western power […]

Navigator CO2 Ventures Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, left, speaks with opponents of carbon pipelines following a meeting of the Minnehaha County Commission on June 6, 2023, in Sioux Falls (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

After SD rejection, Navigator asks Iowa regulators to pause pipeline permit request

BY: - September 29, 2023

Navigator CO2 wants to suspend its pipeline permit process in Iowa until utility regulators in Illinois approve the project, according to a motion it filed in Iowa. The company wants to build a carbon dioxide pipeline system that would transport the captured greenhouse gas from ethanol plants and other facilities to Illinois, where it will […]