First in America Since 1976
Voters have said yes to a zoning ordinance that would result in construction of the nation’s newest oil refinery in over 30 years.
The highly contentious issue has pitted neighbor against neighbor in Union County, SD for months after Hyperion Energy first applied for a zoning permit to build the refinery.
Elk Point, SD city officials, quoted in the Sioux City Journal, were elated over the vote, saying it could bring thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars into the farming community.
$10 Billion Project
Hyperion plans to use 3,292 acres of farm land to build what Hyperion claimed would be a “green” energy center, the worlds cleanest, at a cost of $10 billion
The facility would process 400,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands crude a day, turning it into what the company says is low-sulfur gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, in addition to an IGCC (integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) power plant.
Read below, under “Posts Related to Oil and the Environment“, for an article I wrote last year on the tar sands, and a podcast interview with Liz Moore on her run-in with Syncrude.
At stake, according to company and local officials, will be 4,500 construction jobs, and over 1,800 permanent full time employees.
Opponents of the plan vow to do anything possible to stop the plant from becoming reality. The “not in my back yard” crowd cites health issues from pollution and other troubles the refinery would bring to their neighborhoods.
While the zoning issue is a big step, the company now has to submit a series of applications to local, state and federal agencies before construction an begin.
Opponents say they have strategies that will slow or delay the permit processes.
Hyperion says it plans to break ground in 2010.