Friday, October 24, 2008

Tell me it ain't so John

October 15th, 2008
Tell me it ain’t so John!

It is very hard to concentrate for an article this week with all the economic turmoil that is going on. However, I feel it is my duty to complain about our congressmen. With the exception of Senator Johnson and Congresswoman Stanlin, Senator Thune and Senator Grassley ought to be taken out behind the woodshed and have their butts beat. I find it unconscionable that in passing the $700 billion dollar bailout bill that they would have the audacity to vote for the bailout with the rider in it giving oil companies a 50% tax credit for building oil refineries. That makes me want to throw up. I don’t care if one is for or against the Hyperion refinery that is without a doubt the vilest thing I have ever heard of. Since Hyperion Resources is not actually an oil refinery do they get the credits? You bet they do. I bet they popped the champagne corks on this one. Companies like Exxon/Mobile that made profits of over $11 billion in the second quarter of this year getting a 50% tax credit to build a refinery is absolutely nutty. People and companies are going bankrupt. People are being kicked out of their homes. People are losing their jobs and congress passes a bailout bill with this tax credit in it. I have to quote my mother in this next sentence. “It makes me so mad I could spit.” That is the kindest thing I can say about congress’s actions. Senator Grassley and Senator Thune owe the people of this community an apology for their actions last week. How could they possibly vote for this bailout bill knowing that the oil rider was in there? I’m quoting from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader now. “The clean energy incentives and various energy tax breaks first were proposed by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Grassley's constituents in Sioux City and in Iowa towns just east of the planned refinery could benefit from the project and the thousands of jobs it would create.” "The Senate had been kicking this around for a long time," said Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, a Washington-based public interest group. ( the Internal bailout bill). The Revenue Service released its regulations in September, and since the tax credits were about to expire - before anyone used them - the tax break was added to the refinery credit, which now expires in 2014, could cost taxpayers $894 million over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office."Building or expanding a refinery to handle tar sands won't be made or broken by U.S. tax law," Slocum said. "It will all depend on market conditions and the permitting process."The extension calls for a 50 percent tax reduction for refineries built or expanded to increase by 5 percent or more their refining capacity of tar sands or oil shale crude.
Preston Phillips, Hyperion's Dallas-based project executive, said in July that getting an air permit from the state was critical to success in securing financing. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources approved Hyperion's draft air permit Sept. 11 and extended the public comment period to Nov. 14. "It's amazing what you can slide into an emergency bill, completely unrelated to the bailout," said Denny Larson, director of the San Francisco-based Refinery Reform Campaign. "It's bad policy. It didn't get well thought-out or well debated.""It just goes to show that special interests still have a lot of clout in Washington," said Jason Quam, an Elk Point native and head of Citizens Opposed to Oil Production.
Excluding expansions, the only new oil refinery projects planned in the U.S. - and the first since 1976 - are Hyperion and Arizona Clean Fuels, an independent refinery that has been in the works since 1999 about 45 miles east of Yuma, Ariz. Hyperion hopes to begin construction on its 3,800-acre site in 2011 and would begin refining in 2014.Arizona Clean Fuels, a $3 billion project that plans to refine 150,000 barrels of tar sands crude a day, received its air permit in 2006. Barring final hurdles, construction could begin in 2009, said company spokesman Ian Calkins.
Officials from both companies said the refineries would use the newest technologies to minimize effects on the environment.
Reach Thom Gabrukiewicz at 331-2320.
I’ll bet Preston’s kinky hair went straight when he heard about the bail out.
PIERRE – The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources says a hearing will be held on a draft air quality permit for Hyperion Resources proposed $10 billion Union County oil refinery. In a release, the department says Hyperion itself petitioned this week for the contested case hearing. According to the agency, Hyperion’s petition says a contested case hearing would be in the public interest and provide a forum for the board to resolve legitimate questions that might be raised by interested parties. No hearing date was listed. This is the same kind of sham that Hyperion pulled when it called for an election after the county commissioners passed their application. Somebody is doing a lot of PR overtime.The DENR says the comment period on the draft permit was extended last week. The agency says it plans to take comments through Nov. 14 and make a decision on the permit within 30 days.
I think everyone that reads this article should write a letter to Senator Thune and Senator Grassley and demand an apology for their actions last week. They acted like puppy dogs. George says poop, and they said how high.


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