Monday, June 15, 2009

One if by land, Two if by sea

June 17th, 2009
One if by land, Two if by Sea
The time for being nice is about over with this Hyperion issue. We have been to meeting after meeting, hearing after hearing and still the state will not listen to what we have to say. Governor Rounds is bound and determined that this refinery will happen. This refinery is going to be his legacy to the people of South Dakota and he is going to do everything in his power to see this through. I think he wants this refinery more than Hyperion does. This is David against Goliath if ever there was one. We are less than 500 people fighting the rest of the state. Has anyone ever wondered why we are doing this? Do you wonder why we bother? We do it because we care.
We MUST stop this silliness. This is past the point of reason. Reasonable men and women make reasonable decisions. Irrational men and women make irrational decisions and it is my firm conviction that we are being governed by irrational people. Why would anyone in their right mind believe that this oil refinery will be good for the people and the economy of South Dakota? My God man, there will be over 13 million tons of carbon dioxide spewing into the air each year. I can’t even comprehend 13 million tons. Can you? That’s just the carbon dioxide. Think about all the rest of it, Thousands of tons of pollutants. Who in their right mind would think this is a good deal?
We’ve got some of the best environmental lawyers in the country standing up and fighting for us. It is time we showed them some support. We need to send them letters telling them how much we appreciate their efforts. Their address is
Jenner and Block
330 N. Wabash AvenueChicago, IL 60611-7603
It’s the least we can do for them. They didn’t have to do this, but they saw an injustice being done and came to our aid. They need to know we are concerned and depend so much on their concerted efforts to act on our behalf. Without their help this would not even happen. The bad thing about this hearing is that it isn’t a trial by a jury of our peers; it is a hearing before a puppet of the governor. We must make our case known, and they are the only ones who can do this. Please, please let them know you care. They know this is going to be a tough row to hoe, but they are giving their best, and that is all we can ask of them. If the clean air permit is approved they are willing to fight this through the appeals until someone finally sees it our way. They know this is wrong and are willing to go the distance to help us. Please help them.
What really gets my goat is that people even as close as Sioux Falls and Sioux City don’t have a clue what we are fighting for down here. They think “Oh well, what’s an oil refinery?” You know, we aren’t the NIMBY’s, the rest of the state of South Dakota are NIMBY’s. Do the people in Sioux Falls worry about smog? Heck no. people out in Rapid City could care even less. Do the rest of the people in the state care about our situation? I don’t think they give a damn. I cannot imagine what is going to happen if this behemoth is put into production. And the refinery is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be many companies that will follow that will be even filthier than the refinery. This place will look like the old pictures we used to see about the industrial revolution. Pallor and smoke will be everywhere.
There is a local newsletter circulating that if you get a chance you need to read. It is called “Other Options.” The newsletter is published by Pam Kadous. There are articles this week written by Jim Heisinger from Vermillion, Liz Merrigan from Spink, Kevin Kelley from Spink, Linda Scarman from Spink, Norma Wilson and James Hoflemeyer from Vermillion. These folks have written poignant articles about the contested hearing, what life used to be like around here and what life can be like if we embrace alternative lifestyles. You need to read these and take them to heart because they speak the truth. Truth is a luxury item lately. Hyperion is telling anything but the truth, and people believe them hook, line and sinker. Folks, I’m telling you that this is not going to be a good deal for us. Our way of life is going to change forever if this thing goes through and it won’t be good.
There is an old saying “be careful what you ask for, you might get it.” I would like to rephrase that to say “be careful what you don’t ask for, you might get it.” If we don’t step up and make our voices known, we are going to end up with a refinery in our midst.


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