Monday, February 21, 2011

You say Tomato, I say Tomahto

<$BlogMetaData$>February 23rd, 2011

You say Tomato, I Say Tomahto

As the days go on and on and on since we first heard the ugly word “Gorilla”, things are becoming more convoluted. Over the last 3 years our people have been saying on an almost weekly or daily basis what is wrong with having an oil refinery in Union County converting the ugly tar sands from Canada to gasoline products. Time sure flies don’t it? It is hard to believe we’ve been at this since 2007. We have said time and time again, with accurate information I might add, the harmful effects of the emissions from the refinery. We have reported on the dangers of the pipeline. We have emphasized the negative effects this will have on the community and infrastructure. What more do we need to do to convince people this is not a good thing? This is not economic development folks, this is economic disaster.

With up to 10,000 workers in this area for the 5 years it will take to get this behemoth up and running, it is plain and simple, we can’t afford it. We can’t afford it health wise, we can’t afford it economy wise, and we can’t afford it environmentally. So my question is: WHY WON’T PEOPLE LISTEN? We are screaming from the rooftops, but everyone must be like me; hard of hearing. Either that or they don’t want to listen.

One has to wonder what benefit there is for people to be so all fired up over something so harmful. We must remember that even though the unemployment rate in this area is under 5%, to be employed by the refinery one must have the skills the refinery is looking for. It always amuses me when I read the application that Hyperion submitted, that one of the many benefits they continually emphasized was that farmers and their wives could all work at the refinery on their off hours. What a joke. It just shows to go ya how much they know about the people in this area. What do they think farmers do all day?

One cannot invest in the refinery because Hyperion is a privately owned company. ALL the money is headed for Texas. So what is the big deal? I know it isn’t cheap gas because I printed a chart in one of my other articles what the price of gas is around other refineries.

So where is the economic development? Oh, I forgot. The workers need someplace to release all that pent up energy from working all day, so bars, night clubs and restaurants are going to sprout up all over the place. Kinda like what is happening at Garryowen.

I do know that there will be more jobs because our infrastructure cannot support an additional 5,000 to 10,000 immigrants, (that is a bad word isn’t it?), migrant workers. This means the private sector will be building AND PAYING for the infrastructure to support Hyperion. My only concern is how is this economic development when we have to build the entire infrastructure to support the refinery. Is this a lose-lose situation or what?

I’m sorry to be so cynical about this whole deal, but the Sioux City Journal last Sunday printed this article about the ‘bullet’ pipeline coming from Canada and touted the fact that Hyperion said again that construction will start with vigor in August 2011. What a load of crap. I’m getting really tired of reading the same thing over and over. I suppose you are getting tired of me saying the same thing over and over as well. I say it because we must persevere. I still want to know Why Union County. It makes absolutely no sense.

The Board of Minerals and Environment met last Thursday in Pierre. I don’t know what the outcome is going to be but I can guess. The vote will be 9-0 to grant the extension. Starting last Friday and for the next 30 days is the comment period on the request. Then if there is no objection, the panel will vote. I know there will be objections, so then there will be another 30 day waiting period for the BME to respond, then it will go to a contested hearing, then we will end up in court. Where have you heard all this before?

An article in this month’s Union County Electric magazine, written by Robert B. Laughlin, entitled “What the Earth Knows” says it is up to each one of us to decide whether climate change and global warming are in fact happening, or is it just a fact of the earth’s natural cycle. He said that the geologic record suggests that climate ought not to concern us too much when we’re gazing into the energy future, not because it’s unimportant, but because it’s beyond our power to control.

Well, ashes to ashes and dust to dust, this is one piece of dust that isn’t giving up without a fight, no matter what. Are you with me?


At February 21, 2011 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell yes!


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