Thursday, September 3, 2009

6000 down and 6000 to go

September 2nd, 2009
6,000 down and 6,000 to go
Is that a great title for an article or what? Hyperion just announced last Friday that it did not renew the options on 6000 acres of the land under contract to them. That means that next year when they haven’t sold the HEC to a refinery the rest of the land will be returned and this mess will be over. Isn’t that just wonderful? That is really great news, and to show support for those opposed to the refinery, I’m asking each of you to make a sign and put it in your yard that says “6000 down and 6000 to go.” Put it where everyone who passes your place will be sure to see it. In fact, this could be a rallying cry to all those opposed to the refinery just how much we are upset that this whole thing has happened.
I was talking to Kathy Lessek Friday afternoon after the word was out that Hyperion was not renewing some of their options and she broached an interesting theory that the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense. She said that Hyperion could have released those options last year, but held onto them with the idea that they would put the land on the market and sell them and make a huge Randy Golden profit on the land sales. But guess what? Nobody wanted to buy. Come to think about it, the same holds true for the refinery as well. Nobody wants to build a refinery, or they would have done it. Instead of building new, they are all expanding their current refineries. There is already a pipeline being built to carry the tar sands to Oklahoma and Illinois. Why have to worry about a delivery system when they already have one? Why build facilities to refine the tar sands when they already are doing that at current refineries? Why pay a huge mark up to Hyperion for a finder’s fee when they can do it themselves? The truth of the matter is, with current production capacity at 60% and with oil prices fluctuating so much, why would you build a new refinery? That is just pouring good money after bad. Remember when I said Al Huddleston was a little fish in a big pond. It’s true. When your corporate office is nothing but one office in a huge office complex, one has to start to wonder.
Do you think the governor might be getting a little bit nervous about now? Do you think those that still hold options are getting a little bit nervous? Do you think that those who had options that weren’t renewed are getting a little bit pissed? Do you think there are going to be a whole bunch of people looking pretty stupid when this thing falls through? The answer to all those questions is yes, yes, yes, and yes!
Since the beginning of this ordeal, it has never been about economic development. It has never been about jobs. It has never been about development in South Dakota. This entire project has been how much money can Hyperion put in its pockets and take back to Texas. I said then that this was nothing more than a land scam because Hyperion had no way to get the oil in, no way to get the gas out, and not enough money to build it. I think I am going to be proved right when this whole thing implodes on them. Even after it was announced that the air permit was approved, Hyperion would still only say that we were still a finalist in the bid for a new refinery. What a load of crap. Hyperion can’t figure out a way to unload this fast enough, and Al Huddleston is going to get his fingers burnt. When we researched Al (he doesn’t deserve to be called Mr.) we found documentation that he has never succeeded in any business venture, and we can add this to his list because he isn’t going to succeed here either.
Does it make you wonder how many people who are not landowners but are counting on being part of the big picture are going to feel when this falls through? I’m sure there are a couple of real estate people out there who thought they were promised to be property managers on all the undeveloped property. Many people who were promised they would be in charge of something are now going to be in charge of nothing. All these big commission checks are flying out the window. What about people who invested their money with Huddleston? I’ll bet they are really really nervous. Talk about money flying out the window. Whew! Faster than the stock markets.
When this is all over do you think there should be a house cleaning with the local governments? I think we need to start at the bottom and work our way all the way to the top of the state government. Somebody needs to be held accountable for this. Somebody needs to stand up and accept responsibility for all the pain and suffering we have gone through because of their greed. Somebody needs to stand up and acknowledge that they made a huge mistake and ask for forgiveness. What those people have done is not going to be undone for many years, maybe even generations. I think that person is none other than Governor Rounds. He might have started this whole mess, but I’m here to tell you WE WILL FINISH IT! This isn’t over by a long shot, and when the last 6000 acres held hostage are released, then and only then will it start to be over. The worm is starting to turn and Hyperion is going to get bit right on their butt.
Never underestimate the power of the vote my friends. We will sweep them out of office and we will turn this government back to the people.
Somebody hand me a broom please.


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