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TenHaken Turns Down Climate-Change-Study Grant That Rapid City Welcomes

Mayor Paul TenHaken joins his good friend Governor Kristi Noem in turning down free money to study climate change:

“After much consideration on a short timeline, we have determined these federal dollars have numerous requirements that would ultimately take away the focus from the city’s current and planned sustainability efforts,” said Holly Meier, sustainability coordinator for the city of Sioux Falls, in a written statement.

That plan includes riparian buffers along the Big Sioux River watershed, electric vehicle implementation, and an LED street light conversion plan.

Environmental activists recently protested that plan outside of City Hall on Earth Day, pointing out that the latest draft shared on Feb. 23 walked back a number of its initially proclaimed goals.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said in an opinion piece for The Dakota Scout, “While it’s accurate that $4.6 billion in additional federal money is expected to eventually be available for implementation grants across the country, we have no guarantee of what we may receive due to the competitive federal grant process. This would prevent us from being able to adequately plan for ongoing projects and programs” [Joshua Haiar, “Sioux Falls, Like the State, Turns Down Climate Funding After Rapid City Applies,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.04.28].

Gee, Mayor Paul, what happened to the City of Hustle? Rapid City figures the $1M Pollution Reduction Planning Grant would fit right in to the sustainability work it’s already doing, without any unworkable strings or burden on its staff, and Rapid City has fewer people and resources than Sioux Falls at its disposal. TenHaken’s saying Sioux Falls can’t handle that grant makes South Dakota’s biggest city sound more like lazy Jackson County.

But we know Sioux Falls isn’t lazy. It’s just led by a Jesus-take-me climate foot-dragger who’s willing to resist sensible action to protect us from the havoc our fossil-fuel guzzling has wrought rather just to score political points with the folks who will help him run for his next office.


  1. P. Aitch 2023-05-01 09:03

    Always loved Sioux Falls people. At Vermillion during the Vietnam Era most new friends were from Sioux Falls. Many became lifelong.
    But!! Sioux Falls as a group will never be taken seriously until a long term project to clean the river becomes a reality and a dedication.
    When I moved to Denver in ‘76 our Platte River was in the same putrid condition. A series of visionary Mayors made cleaning the Platte River Valley top priority and it’s now a tourist magnet and a proud part of Colorado’s presentation to the world.
    It’s going to start by electing progressive politicians who have the grit to stand up to the SD anti-innovation habits.

  2. Mark Anderson 2023-05-01 10:29

    You know P Aitch. Never went from Vermillion to Sioux Falls to party, except to pick up people from Brookings at the mall bar to leave for Minneapolis. The only other bar, on Cliff I believe, we went to twice, we should have carried guns. Sioux City was much better and closer although it was impossible to buy liquor.
    It’s amazing to me that Sioux Falls isn’t Democratic, yet. Grew up there, loved the place.

  3. Donald Pay 2023-05-01 10:40

    Rapid City experienced 238 deaths due to an extreme climate event, perhaps made more devastating by human fiddling with the climate (active rain modification experiments). What definitely is known is that engineering of small check dams in the Hills and Canyon Lake Dam on the west side of Rapid were probably not adequate, and contributed to the death toll. It doesn’t surprise me that Rapid City, though more politically conservative, is also much more in tune with how climate events can kill and cause massive economic devastation. In various parts of Rapid City, there has been considerable attention paid to drainage and floodplain enhancements since the 1972 flood, much of it funded by federal grants and loans. Rapid City doesn’t flinch on federal money where lives are at stake and infrastructure can be improved. You could say they the government officials in Rapid City value the life of their citizens more than officials leading the state and the City of Sioux Falls.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-05-01 11:42

    I agree fully, Don. Rapid is in The West and Sioux Falls is essentially stubborn Germans who can’t abide anything new or different.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-05-01 16:37

    Christianic religionists believe if they take climate money it’s an admission god isn’t really in control because Republican is simply another word for Earth hater.

  6. Mike zitterich 2023-05-01 21:13

    To All Who this May Concern,

    In light of so many differences in political opinion and public commentary within the community, the internet…

    I wanted to send a response to all those who engage with me in the relation of the local community, in both a business sense, political sense, and an entertainment sense. I wanted to reach out to as many people as necessary to explain myself.

    Read More of Who I am @

  7. grudznick 2023-05-01 21:16

    Good blogging, Mr. Zitterich. I mean this one above. You kept it short and to the point.
    As to the blue link, there’s no way grudznick can stay awake long enough to read all of that so I just quit right away. As I suspect most people will.

    Keep tightening it up, Mr. Z. You’re on the right track. Short = Good

  8. ABC 2023-05-02 22:21

    Dutch dude mayor hey no federal money to stop climate change.?

    Elected irrelevant guy now!

    Governors of Suoyx Falls, yes, you who are reading this! Get together, create groups of Governors (people 18 or older) in Sioux Falls, and say, we Governors here, we can understand and stop climate change, we have 365 superpowers, we are Governor every day of the year!

    If you can get together 20 or 50 or 100 dollars and 2 or 3 people Governors, we the people can own and reverse Climate change! Legislative way or Mayors way? No way. DO IT the Governors way! Use your superpowers now! Governors Assemble! I know we can raise wages, reverse climate change and many Great Things!

    Complain or DO! Yes, you are a Governor, no election needed .

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