Full steam ahead: DM&E will bring economic lifeline to SD

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ARGUS LEADER, March 8 

 South Dakota – Do you realize how big this is?

South Dakotans should be relieved to learn the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern railroad’s proposed expansion project will forge ahead despite the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FSA) rejection of the DM&E’s loan application. The $6 billion project is the biggest economic development opportunity in the state’s history. 

The importance of developing this economic lifeline through our state has been consistently underscored by the support South Dakota’s political leaders delivered to the project. Sen. Tim Johnson, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Stephanie Herseth stood united in fighting for the DM&E project, knowing it would build a stronger economy across the state.  

As the South Dakota chairman of GOTRAC (Growth Opportunities Through Rail Access Coalition), I want to thank our Congressional delegation for their dedicated leadership on this effort. Their big picture thinking saw the DM&E project as creating a modernized, expanded rail system that would provide market opportunity not only to agriculture but also communities along the rail.   

Now we need their continued support to help develop the infrastructure critically needed for South Dakota to be competitive, create jobs and be viable in the ethanol market demand the President has called for. The DM&E expansion would have made all of that possible and the “not in my backyard” mentality will cause South Dakota to be at a disadvantage without access to transportation. 

Reid JensenBurbank, SD                   

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