Saturday, August 7, 2010

peat and repeat

The more I read articles in the paper about Hyperion Resources the more convinced I am that people are not reading, listening or understanding what this whole issue is about. It isn’t about jobs, it is about 3 things; the environment, the damage Hyperion will do to it, and promises that Hyperion hasn’t fulfilled.
Hyperion came into Union County and started taking out options on what ended up to be almost 30,000 acres of the finest farmland in the state. They would not say what this was going to be and people started speculating everything from an automobile assembly plant to the headquarters for homeland security. In 2007 it came out that it was going to be a refinery. Hyperion said that construction would start in 2009 and production would begin in 2014. Hyperion’s original option for 4 years on the land is up on August 31st this year. What originally started out at 27,000 acres is now down to less than 4,000 acres. This tells me that they cannot get venture capital to get this started or they never intended to build a refinery in the first place. I’m inclined to believe the second option.
Hyperion has admitted that it will emit over 19 million TONS of carbon dioxide into the air along with over 7,000 tons of what is called particulate matter. The particulate matter is the one that is the killer. Particulate matter contains elements that are life threatening to one’s health like methane, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and hydrogen sulfide. Carbon dioxide is the one that is contributing to climate change. I didn’t say global warming but climate change. There were public hearings in which the environmental problems were heard but ignored. It was stated time and time again with much substantiated documentation from environmental experts that this was bad for the people in the area health wise and should not be built. Hyperion countered with the statement this would be a ‘green’ refinery and the most eco friendly refinery in the United States. Since there hasn’t been a refinery built in the U.S. since 1976 I guess there might be some truth to that statement except there is no such thing as a ‘green’ refinery.
The Clean Air Act of 1994 puts limits on particulate matter and pollution that may be emitted by industries in the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency which controls the levels of pollution that may be emitted has stated on record that if Hyperion builds the refinery it will exceed the limits imposed for the safety and welfare of the people. Hyperion will pollute the air to the point that any company that would want to build or expand a business in this area which as I said includes Sioux City would be unable to do so because the amount of pollution levels they would create would put them over the limit for emissions that pollute.
They promised high paying jobs, increased income for the state and economic development that would benefit everyone within 100 miles of the site. Hyperion promised everything but the moon. Evidently this worked because Hyperion requested it be taken to a referendum and the people in the county voted with Hyperion. People in Vermillion or Sioux City or the rest of South Dakota did not have this opportunity. Where are these jobs? It has been almost 4 years and absolutely nothing has been done. How long are people willing to wait for a ‘maybe’ job?


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