Oh Woe is Me!
January 14th, 2009
Oh Woe is Me!
There were 2 articles in the Southern Union County Leader courier last week that just about says it all. First of all, the city council is shouting hosannas from the rooftops because the state is going to help the city redo Main Street. The problem is the city has to find financing. The state engineer starts talking about adding improvements to allow for Hyperion. WHAT? (I like writing in capital letters – really adds emphasis to what I’m writing about) WHAT?
Let me get this straight. The state is going to help Elk Point redo Main Street, but to add in allowances for Hyperion to do what? You mean to tell me that Hyperion (should they decide to come) is going to increase the traffic so much in Elk Point that they have to add more reinforcement to the streets to handle the load? Just what kind of traffic are we talking about here? TRUCKS MAN, BIG DAMN TRUCKS! (Don’t you just love it when I’m shouting?) Evidently these trucks aren’t going to go down the old 77 on the north side of town, or down the interstate, they are going to go right down Main Street. It has to be trucks, because you don’t need to reinforce streets just to handle car traffic do you? In fact, it is probably going to be LOTSA TRUCKS! Oh woe is me! Maybe they will be the BIG SMELLY oil tankers. Maybe they will be hauling TOXIC stuff. Maybe they will be hauling STINKY SULFUR. Oh woe is me!
The 2nd article that was in the EP paper was minutes from the Dakota Valley Business Council. Part of their agenda was reading a resolution endorsing Hyperion and hoping this “hearing process” will soon be over and they can get on with building the refinery. OMG! (That’s texting on a cell phone for OH MY GOD!) I think people around here are going nutty. Let me list a few facts as to why I believe this refinery is never going to happen. See if you don’t agree with me.
1. The country is in a recession and there isn’t any money available to build anything let alone a refinery.
2. Practically all oil refineries in the world have either stopped or put on hold any expansion or building on refineries
3. The Tar Sands Companies in Canada are going broke, shutting down their operations and laying off people.
4. The price of crude oil is down to $40 a barrel and it needs to be between $70-90 to be profitable
5. The TransCanada pipeline has shut down some of the lines hauling Tar Sands
6. Venture capital is nonexistent
7. Governor rounds was on TV saying that there isn’t any money in the state for any road projects and that he is redoing or going to have to redo the budget.
Do you think those are enough reasons or should I look for some more. These that I’ve listed I just pulled out of the top of my head, but I’m sure I could find more. In fact, let me list one more reason and it is a good one. The Dakota farm show just ended over in Vermillion. I was over there on Tuesday and just happened to walk by the East River Electric booth. I struck up a conversation with one of the guys there from North Dakota. (Of course I handed out my PickensPlan business card at the same time.) Anyway he was telling me that they are in the process of building a coal fired power plant in Gillette, Wyoming. They started getting permits in 2000 and are just now getting around to the building. I said REALLY! He said Yep and they still have a few permits to go before it is a done deal. So I told him about the Hyperion situation and he said it ain’t gonna happen. The normal timing criteria for getting permits to start of construction is 10 years. I asked him if they had to do an environmental impact study. He said absolutely. There is no way you can get around it. So I told him they should have built in South Dakota. We don’t require impact statements. He could not believe it. “That’s impossible.” Well, that is what is happening with Hyperion so it must be a fact.
Let’s change the subject. I visited a wind energy plant last week in Crystal Lake IA. This is a windmill farm owned by Florida Power and Light. The field covers about 40 square miles and has 180 windmills. This was an awesome sight. Originally, I was going to be able to go to the top, but because of liability issues they wouldn’t let me up. Anyway what I did see was that the farmers were farming right up to the edge of the windmills. FPL (Florida Power and Light) pays the farmer $5000 a year for a perpetual easement to build the windmill on their property. This beats the heck out of a onetime payment of $5000 for an acre of land doesn’t it? The farmer still owns the land and still farms right up to the tower. In addition, the farmer has the option of using the service roads to get into and out of their fields for planting and harvesting. The people around the area don’t seem to have a problem other than getting a little bit jealous when the site selection for the towers might go to the neighbor instead of their land. The area was clean, quiet and still beautiful. What more can I say. This bears looking in to. In the meantime, why not join the PickensPlan and give it some support. Go to PickensPlan.com and sign up. Or call me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be more than happy to add your name to the growing list of supporters. Alternative energy is going to happen guys. It’s going to happen.