My friends (and yours!) at Dakota Rural Action are on quite a few warpaths this summer. They've organized film screenings and effective grassroots resistance against Powertech's proposed uranium mining in the Black Hills.
Dakota Rural Action is also protesting the state Department of Agriculture's myth-making on raw milk. They pressed State Ag to listen to comments from small producers and consumers who would be adversely impacted by increased state regulation of real local dairy business. Then State Ag Secretary Lucas Lentsch basically flipped all those commenters the bird and submitted the anti-small-dairy raw milk rules unchanged to the Legislative Rules Review Committee. Three of the five committee members (Sen. Hunhoff, Sen. Vehle, and Rep. Johns, not Rep. Gibson and Rep. Hajek) had the good sense to kick those rules back to State Ag for lacking analysis of financial impact and clarity on changes from current rules.
On yet another policy front, Dakota Rural Action is launching the South Dakota Energy Fairness Initiative. This effort springs from DRA's effort during the 2013 Legislative session to catch South Dakota up with 46 other states and pass net metering legislation. DRA explains the initiative's reason for being:
Small electricity providers in South Dakota are not getting a fair price for the electricity they’re putting back on the grid, and this Initiative is an effort to work with all South Dakota’s energy stakeholders to find a way to ensure small-scale producers get that fair price, and that individual production receives the same treatment as centralized energy producers.
Our goals are to make it easier for people to generate their own power in South Dakota, grow opportunities for distributed generation, and to raise understanding of how to use distributed generation for individual and community benefit, with the intent of getting all energy producers a fair payback rate for the benefits they are producing [Dakota Rural Action, South Dakota Energy Fairness Initiative, downloaded 2013.08.30].
Protection of vital drinking water for Black Hills residents, business, and visitors; protection of local industry and the free market from burdensome bureaucracy and baloney; protection of property owners' rights to produce their own power and participate in the power marketplace... once again, Dakota Rural Action shows it's leading the fight for the practical liberty of South Dakotans.