Thursday, September 3, 2009

We've Been Sold Down the River

August 26th, 2009
We’ve been sold down the river
For those of you who don’t remember your history from school, being sold down the river goes back to the slave issue before and during the civil war. Northern slave holders who had troublesome slaves sold them down the river to southerners who treated them harshly. Modern terminology means cheated or betrayed. I’m here to tell you we’ve been betrayed and cheated by both our county and state governments.
The county planning and zoning commissioners took 2 minutes to make a motion to approve the application from Hyperion when the public hearing took place. After 5 hours of testimony, they didn’t even blink when they approved the application. Did they have a clue what this was all about? Only if you believe in Santa Claus. There is no way they took the time to do any research to find out the facts. I think voting for Hyperion’s application was a result of heavy lobbying. In the 2 years since this happened so much information has come to light that has been completely ignored by our government officials.
It didn’t even take the Board of Minerals and Environment as long as the P&Z to vote unanimously 9-0 in favor of the clean air permit for Hyperion. Over 50 hours of testimony by the lawyers of Jenner and Block were completely ignored. I could go on and on about this but you’ve all heard this before. This vote was absolutely unconscionable by the BME. They had their minds made up before they even came into the room. Or should I say that the governor had their minds made up before they came into the room?
Now, this is why I say we’ve been sold down the river. The Clean Air Permit granted to Hyperion is better than gold. Everyone knows that Hyperion doesn’t have the money, connections, skills, expertise or anything else to build a refinery. But, they do hold all the cards, because they can sell this permit to the highest bidder, and then we are really screwed because whoever buys the permit isn’t necessarily going to build a “GREEN” facility. They have to “build” it to the standards in the permit, but if I know oil people they will bend the rules to fit their purposes and the state will back them 110%. The state wants this refinery so bad they can taste it. This is especially something the governor has wanted for the entire time, and he has the power to control everything in the state government and proved it with the outcome of the permit. I could understand the vote if it had been split, but for all 9 members to reach the same conclusion is really crazy. We can’t cry over spilled milk can we? It wouldn’t do any good if we did.
I am so disillusioned with government after all that we’ve been through this last 3 years I can hardly stand it. Don’t give me any of this “for the good of the people” crap either. This is nothing but greed pure and simple. Like I said at the beginning of this article, we’ve been betrayed and cheated. Somebody needs to step forward and start making changes. Somebody needs to accept this responsibility and say enough is enough.
I think what we really need is someone to remove the stranglehold on the media. Talk to people outside Union County and they aren’t even aware that a refinery is coming to Union County, let alone to the state of South Dakota. If I’m not mistaken, the only media giving accurate and unbiased coverage of this whole thing is the Akron Hometowner. I don’t think the Leader-Courier even bothered to send someone to Pierre to cover the final day of the BME hearing. I wonder why I’m not surprised. The Courier is so biased for Hyperion it is bordering on silly. I always thought newspapers reported the news and made a special effort to report it accurately. Evidently someone forgot to tell the courier about this. I guess I’m not winning any friends in Elk Point with a statement like that am I?
Have you been reading the other local papers about Hyperion? I think people around here have lost their minds. Sioux City thinks this is going to be the cure for all their unemployment problems. Get Real! Why do I have to keep saying that? Hyperion doesn’t plan to start construction until 2011 and complete it in 2015. Who in their right mind is going to sit around for 2 years and wait for a job with Hyperion? Of the number of people who are unemployed in Sioux City, how many of them have the skill sets required by the refinery. If they did they wouldn’t be unemployed. C’mon folks let’s be somewhat aware of what is going on here. There is no way they are going to hire every Tom, Dick, and Harry that shows up on their doorstep. Remember, they said 80% of the jobs will be imported. Am I speaking to deaf ears when I say this or are people so enamored with the thought of working in the refinery that they are willing to ignore practically everything just for the sake of what they will offer them? I absolutely do not understand this.
It’s tough being on the short end of the stick isn’t it?


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