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President Trump asks SCOTUS to block release of his tax returns; use of the death penalty is on the decline across the country; and a push to make nutrition part of the health-care debate.

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Former MA Gov. Deval Patrick is officially running for president, saying he can attract more Independents and moderate Republicans than other candidates.

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Stakes High to Create Clean and Renewable Energy Future

April 22, 2009

Rapid City, SD – One of the country's oldest conservation groups says today's Earth Day observance comes at a pivotal time in U.S. history, as states like South Dakota work to create a cleaner, renewable-energy future.

Jim Margadant, regional conservation organizer with the South Dakota Sierra Club, says that moving to alternative clean-green sources of energy can be done. However, he says, strong opposition is coming from industries that say consumers will be forced to pay the cost of limiting carbon emissions. He says those companies are lobbying to have their carbon credits given to them under a potential new cap-and-trade system, rather than having to buy them at auction.

"If the system is set up so that the carbon credits are paid for through a fair and open auction, the money that would be realized in that auction could be used to offset the cost of going green. It could also be used to assist lower-income and middle-income families, if there is going to be a significant electrical rate increase."

Margadant says wind, solar and bio-fuels are the wave of the future to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil while keeping the air and water clean. He says that whether South Dakotans are for or against, he's hopeful they will become informed about the choices that need to be made to protect the environment.

"People need to really study this and understand the issues, because there's some misleading stuff being thrown around. And if you get to looking at the science of it all, we don't have any choice."

The Sierra Club has created the Climate Recovery Agenda that would help cut carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050.

David Law, Public News Service - SD