Hawks Outlines Her Platform At Black Hills Forum

Sep 16, 2016

Credit Hawks for U.S. House

The Democratic candidate for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House says the state can be a global leader in renewable energy.

During the Black Hills Forum and Press Club monthly series on Friday, Paula Hawks says the state needs to create opportunities for college graduates…


State Representative Paula Hawks is running against Republican congresswoman Kristi Noem. Much of the campaign has been focused on Noem’s IHS funding record and reforms, to Noem’s decision to leave the House Ag committee for the ways and means.

At the Black Hills Forum and Press Club, Hawks gave a more detailed window into her campaign platform. While doubling down on her opponent’s record, Hawks also says she wants to prevent brain drain in South Dakota.

She says high performing students in South Dakota schools eventually leave the state.

“And, that is something that we something we cannot continue having happen in South Dakota," Hawks says. "And we need to find ways to attract them here, get them to stay here, get them to want to stay here, and give them a reason to make their lives here, raise their families here and make this their home.”

Hawks says South Dakota has the potential to be a global renewable energy leader, with the state’s vast amount of sunshine and wind… But, she says two things prevent that from happening.

“That is what they greatest barrier is for us right now: storage and transmission of that energy to where it’s needed on the coasts," Hawks says. "So that we can be incredible producers of energy who can provide that energy out of the state. Because that’s what makes us successful in South Dakota. We are producers and as producers we have the opportunity to gain so much more by developing those opportunities and making them a reality, rather than just a dream.”

Hawks says wind and solar energy, combined with ethanol production can help reduce the use of fossil fuels across the state and country.

Hawks’s opponent Noem spoke at the forum last month.
Click play below to hear the full audio of Hawks' speech at the Black Hills Forum and Press Club