Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Today, Senator John Thune made the following comments regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation's decision regarding the DM&E loan application:

Senator Johnson, Congresswoman Herseth, Governor Rounds, and I, along with countless agricultural, economic development, and energy groups in our state and region, saw this as an opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime for small towns like Huron, Wolsey, Wall and other communities across South Dakota. This is a major setback for our agriculture, ethanol, and energy industries and small towns struggling to survive.

The underlying purpose of the federal rail loan program is to give all railroads an opportunity to make badly needed improvements to crucial infrastructure that has been neglected for nearly half a century.

Our delegation and I wanted to see this project get a fair shot and for the decision to be made on the merits, but the final decision was out of our hands.

Sadly, with today's decision the significant rail needs in South Dakota and the region will not be addressed and our small town economies will pay the price. Simply put, there was a huge amount of money spent to sabotage this project by powerful special interests and their hired guns. This is a case of special interests beating the little guy.

Click here for audio from Senator Thune