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McKennan Park Residents Need Climate-Change-Hardened Power Grid, Not Culture War

Climate change is bringing stronger, more frequent storms. What are power companies doing to protect their customers from these storms? Not enough, say McKennan Park residents, who’ve seen two multi-day power outages in the past month due to storms:

Stuart Thill is also a resident of the McKennan Park neighborhood and lost power during this week’s storms.

…Because Thill works from home, the power outage affected his workday, and he had no clear idea of when power might be restored to his home. Originally, Xcel told Thill the power would be back by no later than 9:30 p.m. on Monday evening.

Instead, he didn’t have power in his home until early Tuesday afternoon [Jazzmine Jackson, “McKennan Park Residents Frustrated About Power Outages,” KELO-TV, updated 2022.06.01].

If Governor Kristi Noem wants to do anything about climate change and all the costs it is imposing on residents of McKennan Park and the entire state, she can use some more of those infrastructure dollars so wisely provided by President Joe Biden:

Fixing the grid is, to put it lightly, difficult. One positive development is the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill President Biden signed in November, which dedicated $65 billion in funding to improving the grid across the US, and includes $3 billion set aside for technologies like smart meters and advanced communications systems that might finally bring the grid into the 21st century [Neel Dhanesha, “The Futuristic Plan to Fix America’s Power Grid,” Vox, 2021.12.02].

Hardening the grid against climate change requires serious attention from our utility companies and our policymakers… far more attention than the bogeymen of critical race theory, Marxist gun-grabbers, and other culture-war distractions. For folks reading by candlelight, President Biden has his policy priorities in the right place; Governor Noem does not.


  1. All Mammal 2022-06-01 11:33

    Years ago in TN, a paper mill was convicted of causing the dense fog that resulted in the nation’s largest and deadliest highway pileup (99 vehicles involved).

    I wonder if scientists could recreate and prove Pete Lien’s guilt in the great East River Haboob? Recently, I have been speaking with residents in and around Piedmont and Black Hawk and Rapid City. They are concerned they might be developing red lung or something similar to WV coal miners’ black lung thanks to the gravel and lime company’s failure to spray the newly exposed Spearfish formation down with mag water to prevent air pollution.

    The devastation and erosion Pete Lien has wreaked to the terrain is appalling. The dust and water pollution the residents are exposed to is abusive.

    Time to call Erin Brockovich.

  2. Donald Pay 2022-06-01 11:36

    While Xcel was doing such a bang-up job not communicating with Sioux Falls residents, they have been doing some communicating in Wisconsin about finding a sucker community to stick one of Bill Gates’ NuScale mini-nuke power stations. If this company can’t protect its grid infrastructure and get it up and running, it makes no sense for Xcel to take on such projects which are vastly more dangerous than a 50 hour power outage.

  3. Algebra 2022-06-02 00:21

    It’s interesting that the residents of one of the swankiest neighborhood in Sioux Falls, if not the entire state, can’t come up with a few thousand dollars to buy back-up generators for their high-priced homes.

    Prices vary but you can get them for about $2000-$6000. Homes in that neighborhood are listing for about $380,000 so if you can afford to buy a house there you can probably afford a generator.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-06-02 08:41

    That Gaia continually targets Sioux Falls makes me happy.

    In South Dakota the three elected Republicans on the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) have taken a position opposed to net metering and the state’s Koch-soaked legislature has considered but declined to pass legislation on the issue. No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator, a dearth of environmental protection and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and eyesores like wind farms.

  5. Donald Pay 2022-06-02 08:53

    Algebra, The McKennan Park area is interesting. It isn’t all swank, even surrounding the park I grew up a few blocks south of the park, in an area of low to moderately priced homes built after World War II. My cousins (2nd, actually) grew up in a swanky house, I guess you could say, on the park’s perimeter. There was a time in America when this mix of housing and household incomes was the rule. The last time I visited the old neighborhood, it was still much the same. Not all those people are going to be able to afford a $6,000 generator.

  6. Mark Anderson 2022-06-03 18:55

    Donald, the block I grew up in had on one corner, where I had one friend who’s dad was supposedly the best orthopedic surgeon in town, another family owned a filling station, my dad was a government blue collar electrical worker, etc. It was a much more mixed time. On Summit two blocks from the Y.

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