Letter writers focus on ethanol, declining church attendance and January 6 riots

Biden didn’t need to go to Saudi Arabia to seek a fuel fix

President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil seems pointless. He could have saved himself a trip by coming to see what is being done here in South Dakota.

Skyrocketing gas prices inflict pain on our budgets and our psyches. However, we can do something about it, and there is no need to kneel before the oil sheikhs. We have an in-house product proven to dramatically improve gasoline quality and save billions at the pump. This significantly improves our farmers, the environment, public health and the nation’s energy security.

Ethanol replaces more than 400 million barrels of oil per year through nationwide use of a 10% blend. Transitioning to a national E30 standard would reduce US oil imports by one billion barrels per year. That’s more than $100 billion that stays here at home.

Experts from the United States Department of Agriculture and Argonne National Laboratory have concluded that corn ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 76% compared to gasoline. Other experts predict that within the next few years, high-octane, low-carbon fuels like ethanol will be classified as ultra-low-carbon fuels, surpassing gas advantages. emissions from vehicles powered by electricity produced from coal and natural gas. Higher octane fuels would also allow automakers to dramatically increase fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions.

The South Dakota Farmers Union has long supported the work of Glacial Lakes Energy in Watertown, which proves every day that E30 blends work well in vehicles. Millions of trouble-free miles have been driven on E30 fuels, and lucky consumers in the Watertown area have saved millions of dollars by purchasing superior, higher-octane, cleaner-burning gasoline.

Mr. Speaker, the answer to our nation’s fuel challenge is right here in South Dakota. We hope you can visit us soon to see it for yourself.

Doug Sombke, Conde, president of the South Dakota Farmers Union

No wonder church attendance is down

Your recent article by Bart Pfankuch on decline in church membership was very interesting, but seemed to be missing a few points. Many churches, and organized religion in general, attract these consequences.

For example, I will occasionally volunteer at church soup kitchens to help feed those facing food insecurity. I eventually moved on to feeding people at a Sikh temple, part of the community service they call Langar, because I saw several Christian church soup kitchens turned away from families in need, including children, because whether the parents were lesbian or gay, and those churches weren’t going to “allow” same-sex marriage. Sikhs would never do such a thing. They feed homosexuals, drug addicts, prostitutes, ex-convicts, all with no strings attached.

By some criteria, they are more Christian than 90% of the churches where I have volunteered before. If my experiences are typical and reflect Christian philosophy, then I’m not surprised that church membership is declining.

Kevin Levites, Ocala, Florida.

Local authorities must protect residents from carbon dioxide pipelines

Summit Carbon Solutions offers a dangerous and potentially deadly CO2 pipeline in 18 counties in South Dakota. It would be the state’s first CO2 pipeline and is unlike any other pipeline in our state. Unfortunately, there is still a lot to say about Summit’s final route. Additionally, Summit is offering the project with no prior experience in pipeline construction.

It is proposed to bury the pipeline 4 feet underground. We all know in rainy seasons with heavy equipment that 4 feet is not enough. This pipeline will be under 2,100 pounds of pressure. Carbon dioxide is odorless and colorless, a silent killer. A pipeline leak or rupture below these concentrations could result in death in less than 15 minutes.

This year, reports from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Accufacts confirm that current regulations are inadequate. The regulations provided by the federal government are minimums. Only individual counties can establish ordinances for setbacks. But why are our counties so reluctant to protect us?

Hand County was at the forefront of protecting its citizens by becoming an intervenor in the Summit’s legal case and passing a resolution establishing a temporary moratorium. The July 5 agenda had no indication that commissioners would vote on removing Hand County as an intervenor and/or dropping the moratorium on the Hand County pipeline. Is it legal?

Did the attorney and state commissioners succumb to pressure from Summit that they would be prosecuted if they continued with a moratorium and/or passed ordinances? How many landowners will sue the county for its inaction to protect its citizens?

Are our elected officials, top to bottom, controlled by big corporations with deep pockets? It is up to citizens and property owners to hold each of our county commissioners and state attorneys accountable. What will you do?

Joy Hohn, Hartford

Why watch the January 6 hearings when the result is known?

Lots of news lately about the January 6 investigation and the treacherous criminals who attempted to overthrow the US government by force on that date. But whatever ? The culprits know that all they have to do is block all legal proceedings until the Republicans take control of Congress in six months and any investigation stops.

And, if some are actually found guilty or sentenced (highly unlikely), all they have to do is wait for Donald Trump or his appointed lackey to become president in 2025, when they will all be pardoned anyway. So why watch this ongoing drama when we already know the outcome.

Terry Painter, Rapid City

Jerry B. Hatch