Is refinery worth it?

To the editor:

You hear the drum beat from Hyperion supporters that Union County needs the jobs that a refinery will bring. Certainly this refinery would bring some jobs but at what cost? There are very few small counties that have refineries but if we look to Montgomery County, KS, home of the Coffeyville Refinery, we may be able to draw some comparisons.

Montgomery County has a population of 34,570. Union County has a population of 13,462. The Coffeyville refinery is the largest in Kansas. The Hyperion refinery will be the largest (and only) in South Dakota. The median household income in Union County is $51,173. The median household income in Montgomery County is $30,997.

The poverty rate in Union County is 5.5 percent and it is 12.6 percent in Montgomery County. Median house value in Union County is 20 percent above the state average.

For Montgomery County the median house value is 45 percent below the state average. And to top it all off, the crime index in Coffeyville is 865 percent higher than it is in Elk Point. Refineries may bring jobs but they also bring lots of other troubles.

Aside from the pollution, refineries bring social troubles to communities. We have a very good thing in Union County right now. Is it worth the risk to destroy what we have for a few more jobs?

Jason Quam

Elk Point

Wound up tight

To the editor:

If and when the "Gorilla" comes our way then I am sure you will be told all the details. In the meantime – quit guessing. You people have yourself wound up tighter than a rubber band about something that may or may not even happen.

It is really getting tiresome. The reason that they won't give you all the details is that they don't even know for sure where they are going to build at.

If they gave you details, I am sure that some wouldn't like the details, either. Give it a rest!

S. Koob


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