Monday, March 30, 2009

when will it end

March 25th, 2009
When will It End?
I had this week’s article all planned and was ready to go to print when the damndest thing happened. KSFY in Sioux Falls didn’t have a lot of news to talk about this week, so Brian Allen slips on his coat and trots down to Elk Point to see what is happening with the Hyperion project. Who does he run into but Mayor Isabelle Trobaugh. (I wanted to say Queen, but that wouldn’t be respectful of her position)
He asked her a couple of questions and got a couple of standard pr answers. Brian asked her if Hyperion was still planning on coming to elk point. Mayor Trobaugh raised her finger and said remember I said IF they were able to get the permits passed, and IF they financial backing, and - - - wait a minute I distinctly remember an interview with Isabelle over a year ago when a TV station from Sioux City asked her where the money was coming from, and she looked at him and smiled and said Mr. Huddleston told her in strictest confidence that he had the money to build this refinery. Now we are down to and if he can arrange financing.
Ok I’ll buy that for now, but then she committed the unpardonable sin. Oh, Oh, Oh woe is me. And make no mistake, she said it clearly. “Some of us in order to make this happen must make a sacrifice for the common good.” What!!! Now she was telling the nice folks who don’t live in Elk Point to make sacrifices, she had the barrel of that gun pointed straight at us. Vermillion doesn’t seem to be worried, Akron doesn’t seem to be worried, Alcester and Beresford don’t seem to be worried. But Elk Point. Come On. That is a different story. She has that ship pointed broadside to us and is letting go with a full salvo, “WE HAVE TO MAKE THE SACRIFICE FOR THE COMMON GOOD.” If I remember my geography lessons correctly, her jurisdiction stops at the city limits, so I guess I was mistaken, she was really telling the citizens of Elk Point to start making sacrifices. Grow gardens, quit smoking in the bars and stuff like that.
You know Mayor Trobaugh keeps talking about 1800 jobs for Elk point. I would like to quote Mr. Preston Phillips. He stopped in Canada in January and gave the old Hyperion speech at the 6th Annual Canadian Oil Sands Summit- January 2009. It was the same speech that he gave down here last fall to the chamber of Commerce in Sioux Falls. see what he has to say.
• Acquired necessary site options
• Announced Union County, South Dakota Site (June 2007)
• Filed for Rezoning of Land (December 2007)
• Filed PSD air permit application in South Dakota (December 2007)
• Land officially rezoned to Energy Center Planned Development (June 2008)
• PSD Air Permit issued (2nd Quarter 2009)
• All permits and permissions obtained (4th Quarter 2009)
• Begin Construction (2010)
• Full Operation (2014)
Notice the last four bullet points. The timeline has now moved from getting permits in 2008 to getting permits in 2009, and getting these permits approved. Who does he know? Then begin construction in 2010 not 2009 but guess what folks; we still go full operation in 2014. Now isn’t this just amazing. These guys are going to be able to put this together in 4 years now instead of 5. Ooh, I’m impressed.
􀁘 Construction of the HEC will require:
• An average of 4,500 employees
• A peak of over 8,000 employees for a 6 month period
• An average employment of 770 pipefitters
• A peak employment of 960 electricians
• A peak employment of 320 Welders
• 215,000 cubic yards of concrete
• 16,000 tons of rebar
• 400,000 tons of steel
• Almost 4 million linear feet of piping
• Nearly 800,000 valves (used to be 949,000)
• 39.8 million feet of wire and cable
Now we are averaging 4500 employees and at the peak of production it is now down from 10000 to only 8000. Do you remember when he and corky frank gave their spiel at the area chamber planning whatchadigi at Bev’s on the river? The head of the steam and pipefitters union said we didn’t have that many in the whole tri state area. So if Hyperion hires all the pipefitters and welders, what happens to the businesses they used to work at? Do they close? Can they afford to compete for salary? Or is the salary going to be the same? Any way you look at it, current businesses are going to take it in the shorts.
Now let’s talk the 1800 permanent jobs this will bring in. I know you guys are tired of hearing the same old story over and over again, but evidently this isn’t getting through to some people. Like the mayor in Elky Pointy…lets say just for the sake of argument that a person from Sioux City gets one of those jobs. Are they going to move to Elk Point? I don’t think so. Do you see where I’m coming from folks. This is all Hyperion babble. It isn’t going to happen. Anyway, Preston Phillips is on record speaking in North Sioux City that of these 1800 permanent jobs 80% will be imported because we don’t have the skills. That leaves 360 jobs for all the towns in a 100 mile radius to fight over. Folks, it just ain’t gonna happen and that’s all there is to it.


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