Henry Red Cloud, Democratic candidate for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, at the #NoDAPL encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Photo from Facebook
PUC Native Candidate Against DAPL
By Brandon Ecoffey
Lakota Country Times Editor
PINE RIDGE --Oglala Lakota citizen Henry Red Cloud has eliminated any doubt as to which positions he will take in regards to the environment should he be successful in earning a seat on the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
The Democratic nominee for the South Dakota PUC has taken his campaign on the road this week as he has traveled to Cannonball, North Dakota to show his support for the people of Standing Rock and their allies in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“People are uniting against the Dakota Access Pipeline because it is dangerous to people, their land and certainly for our irreplaceable water. Farmers, ranchers, tribal members and just regular citizens hear almost every day about another oil spill or pipeline bursting. We hear from their own engineers that the work they are doing is hurried. We can’t allow them to put a pipeline under the Missouri River."
Unlike many politicians who have close ties to the fossil fuel industry, Red Cloud has carved out his place amongst the energy community through his innovative uses of renewable energy. Red Cloud has worked as an entrepreneur in the field prior to entering the world of politics.
“We simply have to stop accepting and approving poorly planned and disastrous projects like this,” he says.
In South Dakota the PUC regulates energy, telecommunications, grain warehousing, and other aspects of life in South Dakota. Additionally, the PUC often weighs in on the approval of p objects like pipelines.
The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline project was never issued an easement by authorities to begin digging. The pipeline would cross the Missouri River in two places should it be built.
“I'll be bringing up a load of food and water and a couple of solar lighting systems. I wish I could do more,” he said.
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Red Cloud says he will be a voice for those South Dakotans who are looking forward to a new era that will see South Dakota become a world class supplier of renewable energy.
“South Dakota has huge solar and wind resources and we can be a world leader in clean energy production,” says Red Cloud. “My vision is for South Dakota to transition away from oil and become the renewable energy state.”
The elections for the PUC are to be held on Tuesday, November 8th and voters will be able to vote in the state PUC election when they vote in the general federal election.
(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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