Friday, June 6, 2008

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over!

As disappointing as the outcome of the election was on Tuesday, June 3rd, I would like to quote former baseball great Yogi Berra. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
Those of us who have been against this refinery issue since it was revealed a year ago knew that there was a possibility we might not win this election. We also knew that when dealing with a company such as Hyperion we would be in for a tough fight. Our predictions are coming true.
There is an old saying that if you tell a lie long enough and often enough, it becomes true. Preston Phillips has been saying since the beginning that this refinery is bringing growth and economic development to this community and that is why we must let them in. Whenever we question him or his cronies about this, we never get a straight answer. If you look at all the news clips and all the news quotes, they always talk around this issue. They keep repeating what it will do but never say how they will do this.
There is one vital question that I have had an issue with since the beginning and this question has never been answered. Why have they not said they are coming to Union county? The day after the election, Corky Frank was quoted in the paper that there are still other sites under consideration. If this isn’t an affront to the people of Union County, nothing is. What Mr. Frank is actually saying is that they still don’t have the money, resources, and the manpower to build this thing.
They did get the first hurdle out of the way; they got us to vote in a zoning ordinance that is completely flawed and contrary to the comprehensive plan and the zoning ordinance. I won’t keep beating that subject to the ground, but this is the basis for the whole thing, and they completely circumvented the process.
I am not a sore loser, I just hate to lose. What I find hard to comprehend is that Hyperion completely ignored the system and convinced our public officials that they knew what they were doing. Our officials believed them; or something to that effect. It will be interesting to see what the circuit court has to say about the lawsuit.
I think the problem really is that Hyperion has been planning this for many years and we have been able to do nothing but react to every step they have taken in this process. They knew from the beginning what was going to happen, and things went exactly their way. Do you remember back a few articles when I was talking about this being a chess game? They have a strategy that is all based on what the ultimate goal is and this makes me think when the public hearings start on their permitting process that our laws are so weak that this will breeze through the process and it may actually become reality on paper.
I honestly don’t think we will ever see a refinery built here. Not only are there insurmountable obstacles with the permitting process, the biggest obstacle is bound to be financing. I have a hard time believing that a company with a net worth of $30-50 million dollars can finance a project that is $10-12 billion in today’s dollars. That seems so unreal that it makes me wonder what is really going on. I’ve said repeatedly throughout my articles that I love conspiracies, and I think this is a lulu. Do you suppose this could be a giant land grab? After all, Hyperion Resources is a real estate development company.
Don’t be surprised if many of the statements made by Hyperion during this campaign process don’t come to fruit. Preston Phillips is on record as claiming there will be 1825 permanent jobs. In the Stuffen report, Preston is quoted as saying there will be 1825 jobs however, 80% will be imported because we don’t have the skills and expertise to fill these positions.
This is not an isolated statement. Many inaccuracies have been pointed out and will be proven when it comes time for Hyperion to substantiate these claims, but for now, the important step was having the ordinance approved.
When I say it isn’t over till it’s over, think about what hurdle is coming next. In order to get the pipeline and the railroad to the proposed refinery site there is going to be a battle over eminent domain. The state will have no other option but to declare eminent domain because this pipeline/railroad has to go through the very area that is 80% against the refinery. If you ever thought people were mad before, wait until someone that is not even close to the site is forced to give up their land to let the pipeline/railroad through. Then we will have big problems.
The democratic process has once again been carried out. I applaud those that voted. Don’t ever feel bad because you lost. Be glad that you had the opportunity to vote. This is what it is all about.
Servicemen and women around the world will always say that they don’t always agree with what you say, but they will defend to the death your right to say it. This is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. And like I said in my first sentence, “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over.”



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