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Anti-pipeline movement hurts SD

Natural gas and oil continue to play an increasingly important role every day in the U.S. New data reveals natural gas use in the U.S. hit a record high in 2018, largely due to its role in producing more than 30 percent of the country’s electricity. Crude oil production is responsible for fueling our vehicles and air travel, as well as producing a number of other modern necessities. Despite these factors, anti-pipeline protesters across the country have opposed the permitted construction of energy infrastructure projects.

Pipeline protests are typically unsuccessful in stopping a pipeline construction project, but they are successful in placing a heavy burden on taxpayers. In North Dakota, taxpayers were forced to fund more than $38 million dollars in law enforcement and other expenses related to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests in 2016 and 2017. It cost locals more than $1 million for cleanup alone.

Environmental activists have made it clear that South Dakota could be the next ground zero for protests with the construction of Keystone XL. Last week, President Trump issued a presidential permit authorizing the project. In addition, Gov. Kristi Noem just signed into law legislation that will enable the state to keep residents safe and allow for lawful pipeline construction. Local officials and law enforcement have made it clear they plan to hold protesters accountable and prosecute activists utilizing illegal protest tactics.

Policymakers, stakeholders, and community members must come together to prioritize investment in our critical energy infrastructure — starting with Keystone XL.

Craig Stevens,

Grow America’s Infrastructure Now

Washington, D.C.

Great again for white males

The Republican controlled Texas senate just passed a bill that would allow state licensed workers — to include doctors, nurses and counselors — to deny services to anyone if their religion tells them not to.

This is an attempt by the Republicans to make it legal to discriminate against minorities of all kinds. They could discriminate against your disabled child if they believed that God wanted that child dead. They could discriminate against Blacks or Hispanics if their religion saw them as not being worthy of God’s grace.

Republicans over the last 100 years have used laws to discriminate against all minorities including women, and now it seems they are moving backward to make America great again for white males only.

Brent Cox

Sturgis

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