Sunday, December 19, 2010

i'm just underwhelmed

<$BlogMetaData$>I’m just UNDERWHELMED!

First of all, let me wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Cathy and me.

This has been a heck of a week for news on Hyperion. First there was an article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader about Hyperion and their air permit. It seems that Hyperion ‘forgot’ to list the amount of pollutants from the refinery correctly. The amount of methane that will be emitted from the refinery was initially reported to be somewhere around 475 tons per year. While they were doing the math on the ‘revised’ permit it seems that they forgot to include the amount of methane that will be emitted by the power plant. (Oh dear me!) The amount of methane emitted each year will actually be somewhere around 900 tons. That figure is double of what was originally reported. What is even more amazing is that the DENR approved the first report which leads me to really and seriously doubt that DENR has a clue about this whole process. The problem now is – what is going to crop up next, and like a leak in the pipeline or the refinery, it isn’t a matter of IF but when.

This whole process is flawed and I lay the blame fully on the governor. He might have the rest of South Dakota fooled about the refinery, but I guarantee you he doesn’t have the concerns of the people around the refinery in his list of priorities. What baffles me the most is the media that jumps on this hype; prints it in the paper and then expects people to believe this tripe? Governor Rounds stated in his comments that the refinery is vital to the economy of South Dakota. It might be economy, but it is all for the Huddleston family and Hyperion. I call it ‘Judas’ money.

According to the Argus Article, Governor Rounds has been the shepherd of the proposed Hyperion project for roughly half of his 8 years in office and is passionate about what the project will mean for both South Dakota and the nation. (They don’t say that he has spent the last four years building his resume for Hyperion to look at).

“One of the reasons gas prices in South Dakota are often near the top of the national list is because the state is so far from gas production facilities and pipelines. By building an oil refinery in our neck of the woods, the Governor says prices in our region will fall and it will also allow South Dakota to avoid what has been a growing problem with fuel shortages in rural areas.”

What a load of crap (crap is not a swear word). If you think for one minute that any of the refined products from this refinery will stay in South Dakota, I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale. I’ve said this over and over again from the beginning that there are not enough convenient stores in this state to accommodate 250,000 barrels of gas a day from the refinery. Why do you think they are going to build pipelines out of here? Why do you think they are going to build rail spurs for the trains to haul it out of here? Why do you think there are going to be over 100 trucks a day coming and going from the refinery? It sure isn’t for hauling dirt, corn or soybeans. This stuff is going straight to Cushing, Oklahoma. Cushing is the oil and gas distribution center for the central part of the United States. Guess where Keystone and Keystone XL are routed? That’s right, Cushing. If you look at the map, all roads lead to Cushing.

What do you think people are paying right at the refinery in El Segundo, California?

Lowest Gas Prices in El Segundo

prices last updated 12/17/2010 at 17:12 PM

Brand Address Regular Plus Premium


Chevron 232 Main St

El Segundo, CA, 90245 $3.359 $3.439


Lowest Price N/A

Chevron 101 S Sepulveda Blvd

El Segundo, CA, 90245 $3.359 $3.439 $3.499 N/A

76 770 N Sepulveda Blvd

El Segundo, CA, 90245 $3.359 $3.459 $3.559


Lowest Price

76 603 N Sepulveda Blvd

El Segundo, CA, 90245 $3.359 N/A $3.559 N/A

Mobil 765 N Sepulveda Blvd

El Segundo, CA, 90245


Lowest Price


Lowest Price N/A N/A

Now don’t give me any crap (there’s that word again) about cheap prices at the refinery and Governor Rounds talking about high gas prices. I filled my truck last week and it was $2.80 a gallon. Look at what they are paying in California.

Gasoline is a commodity and it is going to be traded on the board to the highest bidder. Again, if you think for one minute that Hyperion would turn down a profit just to give cheap gas to South Dakota, you’ve got another think coming. You are going to pay the same price as everybody else.

Here is another beautiful statement by the governor.

Governor Rounds has been the shepherd of the proposed Hyperion project for roughly half of his 8 years in office and is passionate about what the project will mean for both South Dakota and the nation.

"Hyperion I think should be built. They've still got to do it themselves. They've still got to create their own finances. They have to put this together. But I think we should still be the home for an oil refinery cause we're gonna need more oil products in the upper Midwest."

If Governor Rounds doesn’t go to work for the oil industry (Hyperion) after he leaves office, I’ll kiss your behind right in the middle of Main Street. (To be continued)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is it starting

<$BlogMetaData$>December 15th, 2010

Is it starting?

Just when you think everything is looking good, up jumps the snake. TransCanada and Hyperion are in the news again. TransCanada discovered some ‘anomalies’ (I just love that word don’t you?)in the pipeline to Cushing. It seems as though there are 47 spots on the keystone pipeline that is causing some concern. The newspaper account reports that there are portions of the pipe that are expanding beyond allowable limits. DUH! Who woulda thunk?

The pipeline hasn’t even been in operation for 6 months, and they have 47 anomalies on the pipeline. The pipeline is only pumping 250,000 barrels of crude a day which is half of the capacity it is capable of. It is still pumping at 1900 PSI. It seems the steel is bulging and if not repaired or whatever it will burst and oil will start leaking. TransCanada is being criticized that the walls are too thin and the tensile strength is not strong enough. When Hyperion was asked about this, all they could say is that it is going to build its own ‘bullet’ line. Woo-Hoo what a doozie. Now if that doesn’t scare the c**p (I’ve been told to cut out the swear words) out of you, nothing will?

Here is a parody that should put this in proper perspective. The beginning of the mining facility is your heart and the pipelines are the arteries. Keystone is the left artery and Keystone XL is the right. As long as they keep pumping the oil, everything is ok but if there is an ‘anomaly’, and the artery bursts, we have problems. If they don’t do a bypass soon enough, the heart will die or at least pump fluid into the body until it can’t handle anymore either. Now how many times can you do a bypass before nothing more can be done? In this case just one artery has 47 aneurisms. This baby is 6 months old and is only half grown. How much more can it handle? What is going to happen if there are more aneurisms down in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma? I think they need to be put into intensive care.

TransCanada replied that it is only responding to the needs of the market and that is why it is only pumping 250,000 barrels of crude. With oil now at $100 a barrel, demand is still low? I guess I don’t understand the commodities market. The pipes in question were manufactured in India, and there are concerns that they may be defective. This is a heck of a time to find out pipes are defective. They already cover 2800 miles and who knows how many welds. They are proving our fears.

When Plains Justice in Vermillion inquired into the pipeline under the freedom of information act, they were told that fears of the tensile strength of the pipelines were unfounded. TransCanada told them they actually built the pipelines to exceed the standard.

The environmental extremists are shouting from the rooftops that this is a catastrophe waiting to happen. My friends this is not a case of if it happens, it is a case of when it happens, and the way things are going already, it isn’t going to be very long. Trust me, It will happen.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it is worth repeating. I used to have a sign on my desk that everyone could see when they came into my office. “There is always an excuse for stupidity; however, there is never an excuse for incompetence.” (Military mindset) I firmly believe this pipeline/refinery is both stupid and is being done by incompetents. The really sad part is the public relations folks say “aw shucks, nothing’s going to happen.” To prove their beliefs, crude deliveries will not be interrupted while they make the inspections. DUMB! Or should I say stoopid.

Another issue coming out is that American Petroleum Industries (API) is going to launch a full blown campaign in January touting the benefits of using refined Tar Sands for fuel. I guess they feel we aren’t convinced the tar sands are a good deal so they will try to convince us we are wrong. The ads will focus on jobs, national security and economic potential. Why can’t they spend dollars explaining the harmful effects of refining tar sands? Then let us make up our minds whether or not we should let this happen. I don’t think that is asking too much, do you? I wonder what part of this is going to kill us don’t they understand.

An API spokesman cited an October 2009 Canadian Energy Research Institute study that said Canadian oil-sands development could spur the creation of 342,000 jobs in the United States between 2011 and 2015. Schild said the jobs would come from the “goods and services” required to support increased oil-sands imports.

What is it about tar sands that makes API have to spend a great deal of money convincing people that this is good? How about spending money stating this is bad? Of course they won’t do that because that is against their nature. How about them explaining why they are against preserving the environment and the world we live in. you can’t eat oil, and you can’t take it with you.

This is going to take a concerted effort on our part to keep the people informed about this issue. We need to concentrate on the harm it will do to our environment and the world in general. API is saying that with only sending down half the amount they can, it is preserving the environment. Oh come on now, we are in the country, but we aren’t that stupid to believe that garbage.

In this day and age when everyone else is concerned about reducing the amount of carbon dioxide is being emitted, why does South Dakota want to be so contrary? (To be continued)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Welcome to my world

<$BlogMetaData$>Welcome to my world

After being tagged as an environmental extremist by the governor elect Dennis Daugaard, I willingly accept the task to take this role more seriously, and sure enough environmental issues are major news items this last week in the Argus Leader. Contaminated drinking water? C’mon you can’t be serious. Well, it seems that e-coli bacteria is alive and well in the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls. Local citizens have started vocalizing against their elected leaders to have allowed this to happen and that they are not taking effective steps to stop this before it leaches into the aquifer. Well Duh! Welcome to my world. Those of us who have been branded as extremists have been screaming till we are horse that the water is in danger. But that is not the Daugaard way.

Why is it that it takes a pollution event to bring people to their senses that something needs to be done about this before we have serious problems. The Environmental Extremists in this area have been preaching, (well maybe not preaching) for over 4 years that Hyperion is a disaster waiting to happen. Well my question is why can’t people be pro-active about dangers rather than reactive? We aren’t rocket scientists (beating that phrase to death aren’t we) but it doesn’t take much intelligence to realize we are messing with mother nature, and we all know that it isn’t nice to mess with her. Rather than pampering ourselves with the comforts of modern society that is really screwing things up, why not try to do something contrary to our nature and take steps to improve life for those who follow in our footsteps. Why have the attitude of let them worry about it.

I can remember why my parents insisted that everyone in their family get an education, because they didn’t have the opportunity to do so. Why did they do this? They did it because they wanted their children to have things they didn’t. They wanted their children to be successful. They wanted their children not to have to suffer the hardships they experienced as part of their daily lives. So why are we being so careless about what we are doing to our environment? It is the responsibility of each of us to try to leave this world a better place than we found it, but this careless carefree attitude about our planet is going to leave things in a mess. Granted we might have a problem accepting global warming, but climate change is a fact and we should be taking steps to reverse this change. People can talk from now till hell freezes over that this is normal, but if it is, why are we rushing the process.

Are we such affluent people that we can have utter disregard for clean air, clean water and clean land. I can understand 3rd world countries having a problem with this because they are just struggling to survive, but if we don’t watch what we are doing, we could be in the same boat. I like the fact that I can flip a switch and the lights come on. I like the fact that I can go out to the garage and get in my truck and go to town. I would hate to think of the alternative, but if we aren’t careful, it could happen. I like my comforts. Is that wrong? Yes it is if I don’t take steps to protect our resources.

Look at the number of families that are starting to grow their own gardens during the summer. Farmer’s markets are sprouting up all over and people are becoming conscious of their surroundings, but it might be too late. Growing your own food may become more of a necessity than a hobby. Wouldn’t that be something?

Now that I’ve been spouting gloom and doom, is it too late to do anything about this? The answer is obviously a big NO, but we do have to increase our awareness of our surroundings. Waiting until a disaster happens is too late. We need to take steps now to ensure this doesn’t happen. This calls for a change in attitude. We are a people who inherently believe in the tooth fairy. It will never happen to us. We are all NIMBY’s when it comes to being deprived of something we take for granted.

The people in Sioux Falls are finding out the hard way that it doesn’t take but one day for something like this to happen and it could take years to correct the situation. People in Sioux Falls are only concerned about people in Sioux Falls, because that is where they live and that is where the problem for them lives. They make passing statements about folks downstream from them, but their main concern is themselves. Well, guess who is downstream from Sioux Falls. If they have e-coli problems do you think maybe we have that same problem? It is like the environmental extremists. We recognize that there will be a problem with Hyperion using 10-12 million gallons of water a day; or that they could be polluting the aquifer, but this is quite frankly, someone else’s problem because that is downstream from us. We are just passing the buck and as long as we stay NIMBY’s it is going to continue until it is too late. Then it becomes everyone’s problem and people will be pointing their fingers at us and being really mad that we didn’t do something to stop this from happening to them. It is called “passing the buck.”

I’m sorry, but I don’t accept the blame for this. I’m not ‘chicken little,’ but the responsibility for taking care of this impending disaster rests with those who choose to look at this as folly. It is an educating process, but those who disbelieve must be willing to accept change and accept responsibility.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Notice to all

<$BlogMetaData$> This is my blog so don't be upset if i don't post an anonymous comment. if you cannot tell me who you are, then your comment will never, i repeat, NEVER be posted on my blog. i own all the rights to this blog so if you have a problem with things i post, start your own blog or be man enough to tell me who you are unless you are afraid to be noticed by others. if this offends you, sorry about that -  tough shit.