Weather modification restrictions could burn ethanol plants, grain elevators, South Dakota regulators say

Source: By Joe Sneve, The Dakota Scout • Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2024

Dell Rapids senator says stratospheric solar geoengineering isn’t ‘tinfoil hat’ conspiracy

PIERRE — South Dakota lawmakers aren’t buying claims that weather modification experiments could be happening in the Mount Rushmore State.

And even if they are, a push to ban aerosols and other chemicals from being released into the sky for the purposes of inducing precipitation, mitigating hail and lessening the effects of climate change could bring unintended restrictions on grain elevators and ethanol plants.

That, plus a notion from one legislator that only God can affect the weather, is why the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Thursday morning swiftly killed Dell Rapid Sen. Tom Pischke’s proposal to penalize “cloud seeding, weather modification, excessive electromagnetic radio frequency and microwave radiation.”

“I think this bill casts far too wide a net and would affect too many people and would be very difficult to enforce,” Sen. Jim Mehlhaff said after hearing testimony from the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources that Senate Bill 215 could end up forcing the state to clamp down on pollutants emitted by the agricultural industry that right now are allowed.

The bill also had implications for broadcasters and telecommunications industries, he said.

But Pischke maintains weather modification experiments are happening in the country, particularly by a startup company known as Make Sunsets Incorporated that engages in stratospheric solar geoengineering. That’s the practice of releasing sulfur dioxide particles into the stratosphere in hopes of countering global warming, according to the company’s website.

And because documents the company filed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration list its location in Box Elder, Pischke and others who testified in support of SB 215 fear those weather modification experiments are happening here.