Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... August 2, 2017 Show 147 Hour 1

As international experts predict North Korea could develop a workable missile with a reliable warhead by early next year, Americans consider, once again, what it means to live in the shadow of nuclear weapons. We welcome author and Washington Post reporter Dan Zak. His book is called "Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age." It's now in paperback.

Nelson Keeps PUC Seat

Nov 9, 2016
Melissa Hamersma / SDPB

Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson keeps his seat in office following the election.
Nelson beat Oglala Lakota entrepreneur Henry Red Cloud who campaigned on an expansion of alternative energy including more wind and solar in South Dakota.  
Nelson says he is humbled and honored to spend another term on the PUC.

Lee Strubinger

Bruce Ellison is Rapid City Attorney who has worked in Indian Country for decades.  Today is taking part in the legal defense for those resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing of the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Reservation. Ellison joins Dakota Midday to talk about the changing nature of the protests and why he wants the pipeline stopped.  

Amy Sisk

Native Americans from Wyoming, Colorado and as far as Oklahoma are pulling up by the busload to protest an oil pipeline in rural North Dakota.

Construction began near the Missouri River section of the 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline last week. This week, more than 1,500 protesters arrived at the border of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

“For two, years we’ve been holding them off, waiting for you to come. Now you’re here with us,” Jon Eagle Sr. told a cheering crowd at a protesters’ camp near the construction site.

Dakota Midday: First West River Wind Farm Moves Forward

Dec 1, 2015
Stuart Surma

Political leaders meeting at the COP21 U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Paris are now hashing out an agreement that could further reduce global carbon emissions.  

Public Utilities Commissioners have approved a permit for an oil pipeline built across eastern South Dakota. The pipeline is more than 1,100 miles long and will transport crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois. Commissioners approved the permit with conditions on a split vote.

The local segment of the Dakota Access Pipeline stretches from the North Dakota border 272 miles across South Dakota to the Iowa state line. It includes one pump station, and the proposed route crosses 13 eastern South Dakota counties.

First W. SD Wind Farm Approved

Nov 13, 2015
Wind Quarry LLC

The first large scale wind farm in Western South Dakota has received approval to move forward.


Brothers Patrick and John O’Meara with the company Wind Quarry LLC are behind the Willow Creek Wind Energy farm. They may seem like an unlikely par to start up a large scale wind farm.   John O’Meara says they also have day jobs.

“I’m a chemist I work in the chemical management industry supporting manufacturing and Patrick is a family practice physician with a full time medical practice in Colorado,” says O’Meara.

Dakota Midday: BH Power VP On Clean Power Plan

Nov 10, 2015
Black Hills Power

We’re continuing a series of interviews on energy and the environment with a conversation with Vance Crocker Vice President of Operations for Black Hills Power.

Last week we heard from Dr. Bull Bennett  an author of the Third National Climate Assessment on the necessity to deal with global warming.

Spearfish Local Aims To Grow Business

Oct 14, 2015

A program through Black Hills State University has landed $100 thousand dollar USDA grant to put more local food on the menu in Spearfish.  

The grant helps build a new business that can move fresh local fruits and vegetables from farmers to cafeterias at nearby schools, hospitals, and other facilities.

Rapid City Skyline Changing As Power Plant Dismantled

Jul 20, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A part of the skyline in West Rapid City is changing as Black Hills Power is beginning work on dismantling a coal fired power plant.  
The Ben French Plant located on Deadwood Avenue supplied electricity to Rapid City and parts of the Black Hills for about 50 years.    But in efforts to comply with federal guidelines to reduce carbon emissions Black Hills power is switching to a new cleaner natural gas fired power plant located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Lawmakers Consider Wind Farm Tax Incentives

Feb 24, 2015

A bill before state lawmakers intends to increase the development of wind energy in South Dakota with tax breaks for large scale wind farms.

Those backing changes to the law argue that the tax system set up in 2008 for wind farms is limiting development in South Dakota—and surrounding states are more competitive in the wind energy sector.   

But opponents counter the proposed bill goes too far and hurts taxpayers.

You can hear more by clicking play below.

Energy Sector Plays Increasing Role In SD Economy

May 27, 2014

Business leaders in Western South Dakota say the region stands to benefit even more from energy development in North Dakota and surrounding states.

Senate Votes Down Resolution on Energy Mineral Trust Fund

Feb 20, 2014

South Dakotans will not be voting on a constitutional amendment in the next general election.  Senate Joint Resolution 2 proposes an amendment to Article XII of the State Constitution that creates a trust fund from energy mineral taxes. After a number of years, portions of the energy mineral trust fund would be deposited back into the state general fund. The resolution puts the amendment before voters. Opponents say there should be guidance as to what the trust funds are used for before letting voters decide.

Doctoral student Braden Bills speaks on behalf of associate professor Qi Hua Fan in electrical engineering who has been working to find applications for thin-film technologies developed by the optoelectronics groups at the Center for Advanced Photovoltaics. Fan is finding ways to utilize the thin film technologies that he has developed to produce better solar cells - the material that both reflects and absorbs light and to apply his techniques to the way that computer screens are developed.

Locals Want Wind Energy Tax Revenues

Jan 28, 2013

Some lawmakers in Pierre want to see part of the tax revenue gained from wind energy go to local government.

Charles Michael Ray interviews Dr. John Turner. Turner a research fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. His research is primarily concerned with enabling technologies for the implementation of hydrogen systems into a sustainable energy infrastructure. This includes direct conversion systems (photoelectrolysis) for hydrogen production from sunlight and water, materials for advanced fuel cell membranes, and corrosion protection for fuel cell metal bipolar plates.