Evidently feeling that her massive CAFO bribes to counties aren’t enough to secure the supremacy of meat milk and manure factories in South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem is ominously teasing her announcement today of a bill to expand “ag opportunities”:
Noem says the legislation will create integrity for the process of developing ag projects throughout the state.
“It really does deal with creating a uniform process across the state for developing ag projects,” Noem says. “Making sure there are there are timeframes and integrity and that it’s a transparent process” [Lee Strubinger, “Noem to Unveil Bill Establishing ‘Uniform Process’ for Ag Development,” SDPB, 2020.01.30].
When Kristi Noem talks transparency, you know she’s hiding something. Expect a bill that takes local control of agricultural zoning away from counties, restricts local residents’ ability to protest, appeal, and refer permits for large confined animal feeding operations, and generally makes it easier for big factory farms to get bigger and crowd out small independent farms, just the way Donald Trump and the ghost of Earl Butz want. Heck, maybe she’ll just declare CAFOs public utilities and fold all zoning and environmental regulations on factory farms into the PUC’s dossier.
Related Agricultural Opacity: Governor Noem has not publicly released her rewrite of House Bill 1008, the industrial hemp bill. House Majority Leader Lee Qualm was able to put paper copies of her rewrite on House Agriculture and Natural Resources members’ desks yesterday and explain why they haven’t held a full hearing on the bill yet, but LRC hasn’t put Noem’s hemp draft up on the Web for us commoners to read yet.