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DENR, Like President Biden, Wants to Spend More Money on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Pierre isn’t pushing for adding a Rapid City or Sioux Falls spur to President Biden’s Amtrak expansion map, but the Board of Minerals and Environment is willing to spend more Volkswagen settlement money on charging stations for electric cars, and they’d like your opinion on this infrastructure investment:

South Dakota’s current plan calls for 5% of the VW money to go into charging stations. The proposed changes would triple it to 15%. The board may consider revising the plan later this year.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources is accepting written comments from the public through Friday, April 9, 2021. They can be sent to Barb Regynski through the internet or by U.S. mail to her at Air Quality Program, 523 East Capitol, Pierre, SD, 57501.

Five had come in electronically as of Monday morning. All supported shifting more funds to EV-charging [Bob Mercer, “S.D. Officials Want Flexibility to Subsidize More Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles,” KELO-TV, 2021.04.05].

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (hey! here’s another job the Department of Agriculture isn’t cut out for) approved that a first round of subsidies for charging stations last December. Evidently those grants went fast:

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – Before opening Category 9, public input was requested on the draft guidelines and application form. The two main comments received were to increase the funding for Category 9 and to raise the rebate percentage. There has been one round for Category 9 projects. The rebate percentage was up to 80%. There was unexpectedly high interest in the charging station program. Seven of the 25 projects were awarded a 72% rebate. The initial allocation of 5% for Category 9 was depleted with only a small percentage of the projects receiving funds.

Recommendation: The department recommends increasing funding for electric vehicle charging stations. There was great interest for Category 9 projects. Reducing range anxiety is a main goal for the installation of the stations. Drivers want to know that there are reliable fast- charging stations that will get them across the state, especially along the I-90 and I-29 corridors. The trust has capped the funding for Category 9 at 15%. The department recommends increasing the total for this category from 5% to 15% [Department of Environment and Natural Resources, “Proposed Revisions to South Dakota’s Volkswagen (VW) Beneficiary Mitigation Plan,” draft apparently posted 2021.03.10].

The state could build even more charging stations for motorists by getting the Governor to change her tune and support President Biden’s super-duper infrastructure plan, which would spend $174 billion to promote electric vehicles by, among other things, installing 500,000 chargers across the country by 2030. Even if it takes time to convince civilian drivers to convert to electric vehicles, those 500,000 Biden juicers would provide a lot orange for those hundreds of thousands of government electro-cars and school buses that the Biden plan will buy.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is on the right track in seeking more investment in electric vehicle infrastructure. And when the Department of Agriculture finally takes over DENR’s diverse functions, we’ll just need to remind them about those fancy electric tractors….


  1. leslie 2021-04-06 11:02

    What’s is THE most important Resource in SD? Babies, air, water, heat…you choose. We regulate this stuff. We the people thru our elected/appointed government. DENR. DWaterNR. Water Management Board. Board of Minerals. Both staffed by DWaterNR (or DEnvironment&naturalresources). Board of Medicine. Air Quality Board-staffed by (Pete Lien and Stan Adelstein). These are ALL big time Republicans that chair and serve on these regulatory boards. I digress in the brash politics of regulating air, WATER, babies and heat.

    But no, legacy-thinking governors think they are smarter than the premier science agency in SD. DWaterNR (or DENR). Hundreds of qualified staffers. Led by the State Engineer. A Professional Engineer. A P.E. at the very least. Often from SDSMT. THE premier science and mining education/research institution in SD (and the nation to some degree). P.E. “We engineers don’t need no english” they proudly proclaimed, tongue in cheek, for decades.

    But no, Kristi, no degree behind her name, no experience except driving too fast and mooning idiocy on the Great Wall (in Chy-na, as her boss was fond of taunting, predictably-for educated Americans— sparking renewed racism and violence in American-on-American hate crimes). She is smarter than decades of WATER and Environmental regulators to PROTECT those resources from unfettered Republicanism (i mean capitalism).

    So DOA is now going to protect babies, air, WATER, and maybe even heat. Ben Shapiro (i mean Ian Fury) should run for PUC, regulate heat, make $100,000 plus as a commissioner (one of three on the SD PUC), and have his own staff of lawyers and scientists and assistants and secretaries. Kristi could make that happen since she has done nothing else as governor except model for the state yesterday, masking up, and vaccinations for all, finally, rather than traveling to super spreaders amidst a world wide PANDEMIC that Trump wouldn’t regulate because he is also afraid to go to prison.

    Can you tell that I don’t think Ag will protect water quality and water quantity? WATER.

    How about DOA&WATER and include all the WATER and environmental science and regulation staff expertise, as is best practices in the rest of the nation and the world. No, Kristi’s t-shirt says “I kno best”. No, she most definitely does not. She only wants farmers’ votes. Thank you very much.

  2. leslie 2021-04-06 11:07

    I think there is a SD cabinet level brown-noser Secretary of Water, or Environment and/Ag too. Likely not a scientist.

  3. leslie 2021-04-06 13:02

    “South Dakota’s top water pollution administrator tells a legislative committee this morning that the state is inspecting fewer than 5% of the storm-water runoff sites they’re supposed to under the Clean Water Act.”

  4. Ryan 2021-04-06 13:58

    lesie, for the love of christ. We are not privy to the words you keep inside your head. if you want any of us to understand you, you have to use each and every part of the english sentence structure. Subjects, verbs, and objects. Your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect. Your punctuation, capital letters, and other formalities can also be relaxed, but you need to do us the favor of using complete thoughts in the production of your rants. I appreciate rants, even if I disagree with them, but I find it difficult to agree or disagree with you because I feel like 30% of the words are missing from your comments.

  5. leslie 2021-04-06 14:00

    The American Jobs Plan is an investment in the American people. From plugging orphan oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines to creating a new Civilian Climate corps, Interior stands ready to support this sweeping effort.

  6. mike from iowa 2021-04-06 16:36

    Leslie does a good enough job making words matter and fit together. Heez got style.

  7. Mark Anderson 2021-04-06 20:26

    You know when we first moved from South Dakota to Florida we were asked by locals if our car was electric. The headbolt heater had them fooled.

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-04-06 22:16

    Mr. Anderson – Once, when visiting my Florida family, there was a discussion and guessing session when my cousin Jimmy happened upon the snow brush/ice scraper behind the seat of my pickup. Also, had ’em fooled.

  9. leslie 2021-04-06 23:00

    The Fond du Lac Band has put a stop to a copper mine.

    The Tribe asserted its rights as a sovereign under the Clean Water Act & the Army Corps of Engineers responded by temporarily halting permits to PolyMet mining operations. ICT

    This is why it is vital SD have a functional DENR. SD is no match for Canadian etc mining companies without water and mineral and air quality regulation. Or CAFOs, etc.

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