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Noem Claims $3M Climate Grant Would Worsen Inflation, Accepts $3.47B in Federal Funds for State Budget

South Dakota has refused to apply for federal funding for climate-change study, planning, and mitigation, evidently because Governor Kristi Noem is afraid taking these federal dollars will trigger inflation and bureaucracy:

A spokesman for Governor Kristi Noem said the state declined to apply because of concerns that more federal spending will make inflation worse, and because of possible “strings attached” to the money.

“We focus on solving long-term problems with one-time investments rather than creating new government programs,” said Ian Fury. “We either decline or return money that we don’t need, as we did when President Trump offered extended unemployment benefits in August 2020, and as we did when we returned more than $80 million in federal renter’s assistance money in 2022” [Joshua Haiar, “Rapid City Seeks Climate Funding After State Turns It Down; Sioux Falls Undecided,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.04.04].

That’s funny: Noem and her family never sent back the more than $4 million in farm subsidies that gave Noem the financial freedom to pursue her career in politics, over a million more than the initial $3 million the feds were offering us to think about adapting agriculture and energy production to climate change. South Dakota has taken $21 billion in farm subsidies since 1995, far more than the $4.6 billion the Inflation Reduction Act is offering the entire nation in subsequent grants, of which South Dakota could get just a sliver. Where’s the rampant inflation from farm subsidies?

The Governor appears to have forgotten that the budget she just signed will take $3.47 billion in federal funding to cover 47% of the state’s expenses. If one $3-million grant imperils South Dakota’s economy, that $3.47 billion must promise complete economic disaster.

But those darn Rapid City folks are going to undermine even that faint gubernatorial stand against inflationary stimulus by signing up for Climate Pollution Reduction Grants, and Sioux Falls may pile on:

After the state declined to seek federal grant money to reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollution, Rapid City has decided to apply and Sioux Falls is considering it.

…The program also includes $1 million in planning grants for each of the nation’s largest cities — including Rapid City and Sioux Falls — and access to the $4.6 billion grant pool for implementation if municipalities apply by April 28.

The Rapid City Council voted Monday evening to authorize its staff to apply. Sioux Falls has not yet taken action.

“We intend to gather information over the coming weeks and make a final decision on participation by the program’s deadline,” said Holly Meier, Sioux Falls sustainability coordinator [Haiar, 2023.04.04].

Noem’s refusal to apply for the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants is not a principled stand against inflation or federal spending. It’s a short-sighted political stunt leaving South Dakota out of the effort most states are making to brace for climate change.

9 Comments

  1. Nick Nemec 2023-04-05

    According to SD Public Radio one possible use of the grant would have been to establish grass riparian buffer strips along rivers and streams. Grass buffer strips have many benefits, they clean up rivers and streams by reducing runoff into waterways, they also provide habitat for wildlife. Hey Kristi pheasants are wildlife, at one time you actually claimed you wanted to increase pheasant habitat. Has that changed? I suppose it is more fun to chop off skunk tails.

  2. Brian Shanks 2023-04-05

    Yes it is a political stunt but at the expense of the people she serves. Money we don’t need?? She is so out of touch of what we need to the extent of being negligent. She should not unilaterally being making these decisions, it should come from people who understand what we need. This is a shame, but it will slip by without a peep.

  3. All Mammal 2023-04-05

    Mr. Nemec- landowners were only offered $3-5,000 to install buffer strips along their waterways. No body signed up for the program so they raised the incentive for farmers and ranchers to buffer up to $13,000. Free cash to do the right thing. Install another fence and dig a little water well that will be paid for. Instead of cajoling polluters with our tax dollars, polluters should be punished and water poisoners should be jailed.

    https://kbhbradio.com/news/state-needs-more-incentives-to-keep-ag-waste-out-of-water-regulator-says

    These are some interesting ways MT is spending free $ on farming: https://kbhbradio.com/news/montana-ag-producers-receive-over-2m-in-federal-value-added-grants

  4. larry kurtz 2023-04-05

    The only time Mrs. Noem even thinks about the word environment is when it telegraphs a donor environment but it’s going to turn on her then bite her in the assets when the national media expose her assaults on the Earth, her leadership failures and her attempts at ethnic cleansing.

  5. leslie 2023-04-05

    Anyone notice Trump got arrested and charged w/34 felony counts yesterday after conspiring to swing the 2016 election?

    Remember when Kristi gave the Trump family EAFB and Mt Rushmore for a rally? She wore her best weight-lifting dress after making propaganda ploys casually unmasked in Borglum’s studio.

    It was much like this: “a short-sighted political stunt leaving South Dakota out of the effort most states are making to brace for climate change”. But oh, for some July fireworks in the National Forest!

  6. Tim 2023-04-05

    If she accepted that money she would no longer be able to deny climate change to her rubes. She has proven time and time again that she doesn’t give a damn about SD, it’s all about her future plans. I wonder how her plans will change now since the RWNJ in Wisconsin Supreme Court race got hammered in yesterdays election. I don’t believe she’s smart enough to realize a lot people are just tired of the BS. The bigger question for me is how long will it take for voters here to realize they are tired of it as well.

  7. e platypus onion 2023-04-05

    drumpf was arraigned on 34 felonies connected to paying hush money and trying to keep it quiet before 2020 election.

  8. e platypus onion 2023-04-05

    Noem and Rounds both on record calling drumpf’s legal problems political stunts by Democrats. What fools these magats be.

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