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SD Farmers Hopeful Governors Will get Energy Plans Out of the “Dinosaur Age”

November 15, 2007

Brookings SD - Governors from across the Midwest, including Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota, are attending a summit in Milwaukee this week to discuss new energy strategies for the region. Frank James with Dakota Rural Action, a South Dakota farm group, says it's important the discussions stay focused on programs and technologies that combat global warming. He's hopeful Governor Rounds will join with other states in the region to reach an agreement that promotes renewable energy and addresses climate change.

"We're concerned with global warming, but we also think that the solutions that are being presented to deal with global warming would help our area, whether it be renewable energy through wind power or biofuels that release lower carbon amounts than fossil fuels. We think our part of the country would benefit from really addressing this problem."

James says the two most logical places for the Governors to focus their talks are wind-generated electricity and biofuels. He says rural states like South Dakota, with many at-risk communities, stand to benefit the most from promoting renewable energy.

"The Union of Concerned Scientists said that a 20 percent national renewable energy portfolio standard will create 1,250 jobs in South Dakota, $906 million in new capital investment in the state, $152 million in income to farmers and rural land owners in leases, and $15 million in new local tax revenues."

James says what's good for the environment is good for farm country. This week's summit is being hosted by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

David Law/John Robinson, Public News Service - SD