Mr. Epp notes some news that won't make the Tourism and State Development flyers: Forbes magazine just ranked South Dakota a disappointing 39th in its survey of state-by-state quality of life. Interestingly, in the six categories surveyed, South Dakota ranks highest (9th) in emotional health, which seems to suggest we're pretty good at looking at the bright side of things... or denial.
Likely to worsen our ranking next time around: coal pollution. A National Resources Defense Council study finds that of all the new coal plants being proposed around the country, South Dakota faces a potential increase in coal ash waste production that is second only to Texas. That puts us in the NRDC's "Filthy Fifteen," along with Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Montana. The Basin Electric NextGen plant near Selby* and Big Stone II in Grant County would generate 952,630 tons of coal ash and 994 tons of toxic metals each year.
To put that in perspective, our current coal plant, Big Stone I, generates just 97,300 tons of coal ash waste each year and 82 tons of toxic metals. In other words, adding these two new plants would ten-tuple our coal pollution.
As far as I can tell, those two high-polluting plants aren't even the biggest power generators: there appear to be several plants on the coming projects list that would generate more megawatts yet less waste. Hmmm....
Great Faces, Great Places... smiling through the soot.
Correction: Anon below catches my misidentification of Selby as a county, not a town. Sorry! I should know better—I've driven through that country several times!
*** A cartoon still too appropriate for the Trump campaign inaugural "address" and link to text - A little rough scribbling in need of a real artist. The Trump inaugural "address" unfortunately matched the worst assumptions of the talking heads attempti...
12 hours ago