The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. President David Hussey opened the meeting and the Rev. Mercy Hobbs gave the invocation.
This was followed by a period of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests. Rotarian Barry Vickrey introduced Dean Spader, Jim Heisinger and Sharon Gray as the presenters for today's program concerning questions about the Hyperion refinery project.
Jim Heisinger began the presentation by saying that the information or lack thereof available about the project raises more questions than providing answers.
If the refinery is built, where will the crude oil come from and how will it be delivered? The crude oil will most likely come from Canada and would have to be transported by pipeline. Where will the pipeline run? Most reports from the companies involved are confidential.
The crude oil will come from the Oil Sands Project in North central Canada. From 1999 to 2003 approximately $29 billion dollars were invested and most of the big oil companies are involved.
Heating must liquefy the resultant high viscosity product before it can be pumped. A large amount of energy is needed for extraction and liquification and will produce large amounts of greenhouse gases.
The proposed method of getting the crude oil to U.S. refineries involves a pipeline through eastern South Dakota. The pipeline is expected to transport 580,000 barrels per day with an internal pressure of 1,700 pounds per square inch. This is known as the Keystone Project and will pass through or over eight South Dakota rural water systems.
Eventually there may be as many as four pipelines. If the refinery is built there will probably be a Yankton-Vermillion pipeline. We also need to be concerned about the pipeline going through fragile wetlands and over vast aquifers.
Oil company studies seem to indicate that as time goes on conventional sources of oil will decrease and oil supplies from oil sands will increase.
Dean Spader stated that 430,000 barrels of crude per day is enough oil to cover 55,42 acres one foot deep per day.
He stated that there is talk of so-called 'green refineries.' Such refineries produce the least amount of pollution per barrel of oil processed. This does not mean pollutants are reduced to zero. No green refineries exist today. The best performance that can be expected is 0.1 pounds of Volatile Organic Compounds per barrel or 4,300 pounds per day.
Prevailing winds would cover most of eastern and central South Dakota. The best category for toxic pollution (SARA III) compounds would be 430,000 pounds per day. With regard to greenhouse gases the best performance would be 10 pounds per barrel of 4,300,000 pounds per day. No refinery meets these standards today.
Hyperion would not be required to follow these guidelines – they are strictly voluntary. Refineries do not report all emissions or leaks either.
The presenters do not feel that it is possible to build a refinery that doesn't harm the environment. Hyperion has not released any information about the kind of plant it would build. The presenters felt we ought to be moving away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy.
Women of the ELCA celebrate anniversary
Trinity Lutheran Church's unit of Women of the ELCA held a general meeting on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. in Askeland Lounge. Ruth Circle hosted the meeting. Its cochairs are Evelyn Hermanson and Dorothy Neuhaus.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Women of the ELCA, the meeting opened with a special devotional, praying "Together in Thanks for 20 Years," led by Evelyn Hermanson. In 1987 Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed when the women's organization of the American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the women's movement of the Association of Evangelical Churches came together.
Pastor Judith Johnson led the Bible study for all circles titled "Act Boldly for Mission: In the Power of the Holy Spirit"; it concluded the summer series from Lutheran Woman Today. Traditionally. the unit's four circles do not meet in August but share the Bible study at a general meeting.
Following the Bible study, Esther Knutson presided at a business meeting. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Women of the ELCA, the women decided to give a new, red ELW hymnary, at a cost of $20, to St. Dsymas of South Dakota, a prison ministry affiliated with the ELCA.
An anniversary gift of churchwide Women of the ELCA will be determined at a later date. Half of the anniversary gift will support ongoing work of Women of the ELCA, and half will be divided between the Stand With Africa Water Project of the ELCA World Hunger Program and the work of Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem.
Refreshments included birthday cake by Monica, decorated with the water lily logo of Women of the ELCA, ice cream, mixed nuts, and candy.