Nebraska just got $3 million from Uncle Sam to figure out ways to buttress its economy against climate change:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the grant, and a similar one for Missouri, this week. Funds came from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program that was part of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
Funds will be used to develop a climate action plan in collaboration with municipalities and organizations, according to a press release from the EPA, and to engage with low-income and disadvantaged communities.
…The EPA, later this year, will begin distribution of $4.6 billion in additional climate reduction grants.
The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has submitted a letter of interest in applying for more grants. But a spokeswoman said Wednesday that whether or not the department applies will depend on whether funds fit state goals.
Earlier this month, the NDEE, in a news release, said its climate plan will include expanding climate-resilient agriculture, promoting electric grid upgrades, improving soil health and encouraging innovation [Paul Hammel, “State Awarded $3 Million in Federal Funds for Climate Impact Study,” Nebraska Examiner, 2023.03.31].
As of the program deadline, Friday, March 31, South Dakota had not asked. Neither had Iowa, Kentucky, or Florida.
Federal money is the largest chunk of South Dakota’s upcoming budget pie, $3.47 billion making up 47% of our FY2024 revenue, so it’s not like increasing that federal reliance by another 0.086% should set off any alarm bells. Either the Department of Agriculture (and Natural Resources) was too busy hashing out details of Fluffy’s State Fair contract, or our friends in Pierre think climate change somehow won’t affect crop and livestock production in South Dakota.