Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Mistake!

September 16th, 2009
Big Mistake!
I attended the bi-weekly meeting of the Union County Commissioners, at the welcome center in Dakota Dunes last week. For the first time since I can remember, a meeting was held at someplace other than the court house. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I went down there but what I saw really gave me some insight on politics at the county level. Since the meeting was being held at the “Dunes”, I half expected to see the commissioners in suits and ties. Naw, they were in their everyday digs. I also figured the room would be full of people from the Dunes asking questions during the public input time before the meeting officially gets started. What I saw was the same thing that happens every other time at the court house. There weren’t any people from the Dunes. Not a single solitary soul. In fact the only people that were there were myself, Julie Madden, from the “Akron Hometowner” and Jim Wenndblom. Maybe they didn’t know there was a meeting going on. If they did, they didn’t seem to care. So why did they hold the meeting down at the dunes? I asked around and found out the reason was that the CID had invited the members down for lunch at the Country Club and a tour of the Dunes. Since the commissioners were invited for a lunch and tour, Ross Jordan who represents that district, moved that the meeting be held there. Part of the reason for having the meeting moved to the dunes was to ensure that they would all be there for lunch and the tour. If the Commissioners were just invited down for a tour after the normal business was conducted at the court house, they might not come.
NOW FOR THE REAL REASON THE MEETING WAS HELD AT THE DUNES - - The Dunes has been lobbying for over a year to have a deputy sheriff assigned 20 hours per week to patrol the Dunes. They offered to buy a car and pay part of the wages ($17,000) for having a deputy sheriff around for security. By the end of the meeting, Mr. Jeff Dooley of the CID upped the ante to $25,000. You see, by law they cannot have a police force until they incorporate as a city and under their current contract with Mid-American they can’t do that for 2 more years. Until that time the county is responsible. That sounds goofy, but that’s the way it is.
Is this how you get things done in Union County? Take the boys out to lunch? If it works and they assign a deputy to the Dunes 20 hours a week, I guess it is.
I’ve only been going to the commissioners meetings for about 3 years, and it never dawned on me to do this. I must have been sleeping through all this. But I’m here to tell you, this ol’ Norwegian has it figured out now. I’m going to take Ole, Lars, and Sven with me next time. We’ll invite them to lunch at the Spink café but to take a detour up the Garryowen road. We will have lunch at the café and pretty soon we’ll get that road paved. Yessir by yimminy, we will get it paved. You can fool a Norwegian once or twice, but pretty soon we catch on. That’s why Tuna comes in the bag now. We figured out how to open the can.
In my estimation, it was a big mistake for the commissioners to do this. This is a no win situation for them. It is a case of damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. If they vote to add a deputy they will be accused of favoritism or being bought. If they don’t, people will think the folks at the Dunes didn’t bid high enough. After all, they raised the bid from $17000 to $25000. One thing that you cannot have is the appearance of impropriety and that your position in government is for sale to the highest bidder. I think the commissioners need to come forward and say they made a mistake. Of course, that is just my opinion.
My feeling is, if the Dunes need to be staffed properly to ensure the safety of their residents, for God’s sake amend the budget, make cuts if you have to and hire some deputies to make the area secure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. They are entitled to it, it’s the law. Don’t go pussyfooting around under the pretext of lunch and a tour to show the commissioners what is at the Dunes. Oh by the way, we would like a deputy and we’re willing to pay up to $25,000 for one.
If the commissioners can find the money to add a staff position for $24,000 to the County Assessor’s office, they can surely find money to add another deputy to give peace of mind to the 3000 citizens of the Dunes. (I’m a strong advocate for adequate police protection.) I don’t think any town, even Dakota Dunes, should have to beg for police protection.
My next question is - are they adequately covered for fires and emergencies requiring EMT’s? Or better yet, why don’t the citizens of the Dunes create their own volunteer firefighters and EMT volunteers? After all, there are 3000 residents there. I think they’re big enough don’t you? I’m sure there are experienced people that live inside that would be more than happy and qualified to do this. If not, they can be trained. You can only outsource so many jobs. They need to accept some of this responsibility and become accountable for their own protection. The rest of the county does it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rumors Abound

Sept 9th, 2009
Rumors Abound
Well, now that we know that Hyperion did not renew its options on 6000 acres, what’s next? I’ve heard so many rumors about who did and who did not get their options renewed, you need a book to keep track. It depends on what you’ve heard which theories Hyperion is going to use.
The most frequent rumor I’ve heard about the options is that everything south of Hwy 50 and everything west of the Spink road was let go. I guess this means that Hyperion is circling the wagons. It also means that everything we’ve heard to this point is meaningless, which means Hyperion doesn’t have a clue.
The biggest tale we’ve heard from Hyperion since the beginning is that they will build a 500 acre “recreation” center down by the river. This will be used for boating, swimming and recreational sports. It will enhance the wildlife by beautiful wetlands for them to breed. This artificial lake will be where the treated water will be returned to the Missouri river by percolating back into the river and the aquifer. They have been saying this since day one, and now we hear that of the 6000 acres released, all the land south of Hwy 50 has not been optioned for another year. What happened to the lake? What happened to the method of returning the treated waste water back to the river? Your guess is as good as mine. From what I’ve heard the only land left is 59 acres that belongs to Suzanne Hanson. We won’t know until those that have had their options released file with the register of deeds. I am willing to bet that the Register of Deeds office is going to be the most popular spot in Union county for the next few weeks.
This much I do know about the options. 13000 acres have been filed with the Register of Deeds. So if and when someone wants to sell, mortgage or otherwise do something with their land they will have to file the release with the county before they can do anything with it. Unless of course it was never filed in the first place, which I doubt because of how many acres have been filed. All this will come out in the wash. It is like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Remember when all the rumors were going around when this first started? Now it is happening in reverse. I hear people talk about how long it took the refinery in Arizona to get its permits and everything approved. It was almost 9 years. The difference here is that they optioned the land, then there was a lawsuit by the Native American tribes in Arizona, then they turned back the options and purchased land to build the refinery and started the process all over again. Hyperion doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for 9 years to build this refinery because their options expire next year. They have 18 months from the time the permit is issued to begin construction. It is decision time for them because when the options go out, the price of the land goes up. The state can grant them an extension on the air permit for 18 months, but that doesn’t do them any good unless they purchase the land. I guess you call this being between a rock and a hard place.
I wish I could remember the term that Preston Phillips used when he said they didn’t have to use any loan or credit dollars to build this refinery. They had the necessary capital in place. Now if you believe that, you are nuttier than he is. If they had the money, they wouldn’t have released the 6000 acres and they would have purchased the other 6000. They want to get this thing built, but for some strange reason they can’t close the deal with any potential buyers.
When I said this was like waiting for the other shoe to drop, I was referring to the people that had their options renewed. I sure hope they weren’t silly enough to go spend this “promised” money because next year at this time, it is going to be all over. I think they might be getting a little bit nervous. Would you like to sit around for a whole year not knowing what was going to happen next? You can’t believe anything Hyperion says, because none of it is happening they said it would.
If they build it, as Eric Williams said in his press release last week, now it will be built to the most economic commercial standards. What happened to BACT? What happened to GREEN? What happened to the “Transparency” they said they would maintain. In South Dakota, your word is your bond. I guess they haven’t learned that in Texas yet.
I wish I could talk to some of the people who didn’t get their options renewed and see just how they feel about Hyperion now. Do you think you may eventually come around to our way of thinking that this is a bad deal or are you not going to be willing to talk to me for fear of being ridiculed for their decision to make some easy money? I can’t sympathize with them however I can empathize with them because of what they did. I don’t think at this point and time they want to talk about it so let’s just let it lie. I can assure them though that I will listen to them. I don’t wish anything bad on these folks; I just wish they had thought things out a little bit more before they signed the papers. If you do want to talk to me, my cell number is (605) 957-5193. If you would like to email me, my email address is l would really like to talk to you and I promise I am a good listener and I will never say anything about this without your permission. I have ethics, credibility and integrity. I will never leave those standards.

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.

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?

Those Were the Good Old Days

August 19th, 2009
Those were the good old days.

Do you folks realize that this September it will be 3 years since the “Gorilla” raised its ugly head and started all this craziness? Remember when there were rumors about an automobile manufacturing plant, a large animal confinement unit, a toxic waste dump, a nuclear power station, an operations center for Homeland Security? Those were the good old days.
We’ve made some mistakes and we’ve made our point, but that was then and this is now. Our final presentation for stopping the air permit is tomorrow and sadly to say, I don’t think it will be successful. However, this lays the groundwork for appeals. Yes, we are going to fight this through the courts.
What you may not realize, if my math is worth a toot, is that some of the options run out at the end of the month, and I think there might be a few surprises. Hyperion is going to have to renegotiate some of these options, buy the property or just let them go. My guess is that they won’t let them go because to renegotiate is not an option when someone like Randy Golden has land for sale at $59,000 an acre.
Hyperion doesn’t have just 3000 acres under options, it has somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000 acres under option. Do you think that might convince a few people that opposing this refinery isn’t such a bad deal after all? I firmly believe that there are those that signed options that once they found out what this was all about regretted doing it. Too soon old, too late smart!
I was in Kansas City last weekend, and happened to mention the Hyperion issue to my eldest, oldest, smartest brother. He said he has been around oil most of his life and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. He lived in Texas for almost fifty years, and he has never noticed a bad smell. About 45 minutes later I finished telling my story and he just looked at me and said “you know Doug you can’t stop them if they really want to come. They have more money than you’ll ever imagine and money talks, and b.s. walks.” Part of what he said is true. They have more money than we could ever imagine, but they haven’t come up against people like us before. If it was just a case of money, this would have been a done deal long ago. I firmly believe that Hyperion is out on a limb here and they are cutting the branch off from the wrong end. Has anyone seen or heard from any of the “Big Boys” about this refinery? No, and do you know why? They are just as opposed to Hyperion building a refinery as we are but are just letting nature run its course.
Take this into consideration for a minute. Practically every oil refinery in the United States that is operating is running at about 60% capacity. There isn’t a shortage of oil; there is a shortage of demand. If these companies were operating at capacity, the price of gasoline would be about $1.00 a gallon. Just like everything else in this world, companies operate on supply and demand. To keep the prices up, production must be less than demand. One of the reasons oil is on the commodities market is to control the price and quantity of oil. Price goes down, production goes down. Price goes up, production goes up. Back to my theory. If these big oil companies were to let Hyperion bring in a 400,000 barrel a day refinery, there would be a glut on the market for gasoline products and the price would go down. Besides, Hyperion doesn’t have a market for their product.
As I said in earlier articles, there are only so many Casey’s and Kum & Go’s. They might be independents, but have you ever noticed that they all charge the same price for gas? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to follow a gas truck, it goes from the Coffee Cup to Casey’s, then over to Pump N Pak. The oil companies not only control the prices, they control the market, and there isn’t any room for another 400,000 barrels a day of product out there.
Conoco Phillips has a deal with Trans Canada for Tar Sands, and the pipeline is already in Nebraska, but their facility at Port Arthur won’t be done for a few years. So where does that put Hyperion? This isn’t a case of “Build it and they will come,” this is a case of it doesn’t do any good to build a refinery if you don’t have anything to refine. I’ve heard, and I don’t have anything to back this up, but if you want to deal with Trans Canada for Tar Sands you have to buy a year’s supply of oil from the get go. There ain’t no way Hyperion has that much money, and I don’t think Trans Canada is going to float them a loan. As I said, I don’t have any proof to back up that statement, but it only makes sense to me. What would happen if 4 years down the road that Hyperion goes broke and the refinery shuts down before it even gets started? Where is all that Tar Sands that Hyperion contracted for going to go? Somebody is going to get stuck, and I can guarantee it won’t be Canada.
“If a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump its ass on the ground when it hopped around.”

Round 2 begins

August 12th, 2009

Round 2 begins

At the risk of being premature, round 2 of the Hyperion process is beginning. The Federal Game, Fish and Parks will be conducting a series of public meetings for people to make input about the environmental conditions of the Missouri River. This meeting is not publicized, but I happen to run across the announcement on the internet the other day. Is it coincidence that the meeting in Vermillion just happens to be the same day that the BME is meeting for the final time on Hyperion? Naw, it just happened. The GFP is holding meetings all along the Missouri to St. Louis to hear concerns about dangers to the environment along the Missouri.

I have to feel like this is a gift from the God’s. This is the perfect opportunity to get the federal government involved in the Hyperion refinery dispute. We can show the damage that is going to be caused by the discharged water from the refinery back into the Missouri. We will never give up. Now we can show them things that nobody else will listen to. DENR has no jurisdiction in this area. These are federal waterways. This water, especially around Elk Point is part of a protected waterway because of Ponca State Park on the Nebraska side of the river.
If we can get the federal GFP involved in this, then the EPA can step in and stop the project. It is really a shame that we have to go the route to stop them, but since the state won’t listen and take action on this; it is the only choice we have left for now.

We will fight Hyperion at every turn, and hopefully someday somehow, somebody will sit up and take notice. Until then, every opportunity to voice our concerns must be taken. I’ve said this many times before, and I’ll say it again quoting the famous Yogi Berra. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” I’m convinced that when things look their bleakest, is when we will have an opportunity to cut through all this state government B.S. and people will listen. I had a letter to the editor in last week’s Argus Leader and when you look at the comments online, we are picking up sympathy and support from the Sioux Falls Area. Now all we need to do is get statewide coverage and we increase our chances in this.

One thing about the Hyperion application is that is says how they will get the water out, but the only way to get the water back to the river is by dumping the water into a 500 acre lake and let it percolate back into the river through the shallow aquifer. What a load of crap. If this is what they believe is the solution for polluted water to become clear and cleaner than when it came in (they state that water returned to the river will be cleaner than when it came in), they gotta be absolutely nutty. They state that the artificial lake they make will be ideal for family outings, boating, swimming and fishing. And we have people that actually believe this. Would you go swimming in this water? Would you eat fish taken out of this water? These statements need to be filed in the same drawer that “GREEN” is filed. The trashcan!

If you don’t think the oil situation isn’t political, think about this for a minute. Hyperion is touting that we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil so Hyperion is enthusiastic about importing North American oil from the Alberta Tar Sands. They admit that Canada is a foreign country, but the oil is coming from North America. How about North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah? What are they chopped liver? The Bakken oil field stretches from North Dakota through Montana into Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. It is the 2nd largest oil field in North America. Depending on what you read, there is up to 500 billion barrels, let me repeat that, up to 500 billion barrels of oil reserves untapped there. So why in the hell is everybody making such a big fuss about Alberta? If we have to have this oil, stay in the United States for crying out loud. I’ll tell you why, politics and the price of oil. There was an interview on PBS TV not too long ago with a Saudi Arabian prince, and he said we (United States) are so foolish he can’t believe it. The world price of oil should be no more than $30-$40 per barrel, but because we have oil listed on the commodities market, speculators are driving up the price and we let them do it. How stupid is that?

We are like dust blowing in the wind. What we think, what we are, what we believe doesn’t mean squat!

Two Blind Mice

August 5th, 2009
Two Blind Mice
As did many of you, I had the opportunity to go to the Union County Fair in Alcester last weekend, and had a great time. One of the big reasons I had a good time was that I had an opportunity to visit with 2 Republican candidates for Governor in 2010. I talked with Lt. Governor Dennis Dugaard and the mayor of Brookings, Mr. Scott Munsterman. Both of these gentlemen were greeting people as they came through the line for their free meal for the fair.
Just to prove that I wasn’t biased, I asked them the same questions. I was not surprised by the answers of either man. Mr. Munsterman said that he was a little bit familiar with the Hyperion situation, but that since it was a local issue he really didn’t look into it with great detail. I told him that it might seem like a local issue, but since this is the largest refinery in the history of the state of South Dakota, it seems to me to be a state issue. I said “let’s suppose you are governor in 2010 and it comes to light that Hyperion lied to us about its operation just to get the license to build what would you do?” he responded that he would look into the issue and if there were irregularities he would deal with them.
I don’t understand why someone campaigning for governor would come into its area and not know what the hell is going on down here. I realize we are at the tip of the state, but come on. You want my vote, talk about issues that concern Union County, especially one that is as contentious as this one.
Next I ran into Lt. Governor Dugaard in the commercial exhibit building. I met Mrs. Dugaard as well (Linda). I mentioned that Governor Rounds is for this 10,000% so I’m presuming that he is as well. He said that he was very much for the refinery because of jobs and economic development. I asked him if he realized what a contentious issue this was in Union County. He said he did and he sympathized with us. So I asked him – You are Governor and we find out that Hyperion isn’t completely truthful with us about the refinery what would you do? Well, he said, first of all this is a local issue that was voted on by the people of Union County and it should be solved here. I said Mr. Dugaard this is not a local issue this is a state issue and the state has the responsibility. If it wasn’t a state issue we wouldn’t need to go to the state for permission to build the damned thing. But anyway, pollution doesn’t stop at the county line and this affects the health and welfare of the entire state and surrounding area, what are you as governor going to do? He said if they violated the law he would shut them down. I asked about how you shut down a 10 billion dollar company once they have started production. – long pause – no answer. I told him that in 3 weeks the BME will vote to approve this application and the vote will be unanimous 9-0. I asked that when he gets back to Pierre to please take the time to read the case as we presented it to BME. We made them look like idiots. We refuted every fact they presented. We show their figures were in error. We showed where they used the incorrect data when they figured their application. Not only that, the EPA sent a 33 page document disputing DENR and Hyperion’s application, yet the permit was still approved. How can he stop the process? No answer. Pollution doesn’t stop at the county line, and when this affects the health and welfare of the entire state I can assure you sir it will be your responsibility. He didn’t say he would do anything.
Folks, do you see what is happening here? We are being patronized, and it is politics as usual. These people are here pressing the flesh for your vote, and don’t have a clue. They want your vote, but when you ask them questions, you get the “politically correct” answer to them. “I’ll look into it.” And in 5 minutes they will have forgotten what you talked about. They will go home hoping that when it comes time to vote you will say “Oh I recognize that name; he actually came to Union County. I’ll vote for him.” They will climb into their cars and head home, another day of campaigning in the bag. And they wonder why the American People hold politicians in such low esteem. DUH - - someday, why can’t someone come barnstorming through here and say I’m going to make changes and by God this is how I’m going to do it. Vote for me and I’ll make it happen. When that happens, I know hell is in the process of freezing over, but I’ll vote for them. Quite frankly, I’m pretty much disgusted with the whole process.