To the editor:

People laughing during a meeting are disrespectful (Southern Union County Leader-Courier 12/13). People opposing Hyperion are uninformed and have jumped to hasty conclusions (Southern Union County Leader-Courier 11/15). Apparently, we're a pretty selfish bunch, standing against "progress" by trying to protect our homes.

In contrast, supporters are well-educated and thoughtful, with a selfless interest in the community. Secrecy and incomplete information in support of Hyperion are O.K.

Mr. Odson has a small platform for lecturing the opposition. He has been an advocate of Gorilla from the beginning. Inducted early into the inner circle, he has taken the side of the outsider, working to promote a presence that will negatively affect many local folks and that is not environmentally sound.

There is a tendency to be critical of opposition and tolerant toward supporters. Legitimate concerns have been discounted, given the minor lip service of saying there will be plenty of time for comment "later."

Our local media and most government safeguards have largely abandoned us. So we strive to find the truth and preserve our homes, standing with little official support but with a lot of heart – without a representative voice except that which we muster from amongst ourselves. If we are selfish for defending our homes, so be it. How much more is the selfishness of those seeking gain from a distance, the burden borne on the backs of others?

Laughter at a meeting disrespectful? Or simply recognition of an ironic untruth that would have otherwise gone unchecked?

Gregg Hanson
Elk Point

Half a deck

To the editor:

My mother raised 16 children and loved to play cards. She often said with a smile, "Trust everyone, but cut the cards." Hyperion won't let us cut the cards. In fact, it won't even play with a fair deck. It wants to play with only half the cards (the so-called "green" ones) and is hiding the black cards. Here are three black cards Hyperion left out of the deck that it dealt the public last week in Beresford, North Sioux City, and Elk Point.

First, Hyperion's posters claimed to show us "actual air emissions." These are "reported emissions" not "actual emissions." I can show you studies of 18 refineries where the "actual emissions" were three-to-30 times higher than emissions "reported" by the refinery. Hyperion gave you the green card (reported emissions) but not the black card (actual emissions that can be 30 times higher). Go to www.epa.gov/tri to read about the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).

Here's a second black card Hyperion didn't put in the deck. It didn't tell you that strip mining the sour crude in Canada will destroy a forest the size of England. It is already polluting the pristine Athabascan river, and is releasing millions of tons of green house gases. Producing sour crude releases four times more greenhouse gases than producing sweet crude. The oil sands pit in Canada is the biggest pit in the world. It alone will increase Canada's greenhouse gases 40 percent. Go to www.oilsandstruth.org and read about the environmental mutilation occurring to get sour crude out of the ground.

Third, Hyperion doesn't tell you that "best" does not mean "best." The Best Available Control Technology (BACT) has many levels from cheapest to most expensive. Hyperion will save millions of dollars because it can use the cheapest technology they call "best." The cheapest levels are for "attainment" states that have clean air. South Dakota is an "attainment" state, which means that Hyperion can pollute our air more and still call it BACT. This out-of-state corporation will take millions more in profits to Texas because our air is clean enough to pollute more. You had better check which way the wind blows. Thousands of tons of toxic pollutants are going to be in the air for the next 50 years.

There are 52 cards in a deck. Hyperion may have shown you 26 green ones. Is that a fair deck to play with? Have you seen the 26 black cards? I've given only three of them above. It is our clean air, clean water, and rich soil. Don't allow a large out-of-state corporation to gamble it away with half a deck. Don't decide until you get the whole deck.

Dean Spader

Be informed

To the editor:

I implore you to become informed of the effects Hyperion will have on the Clay County quality of life. Hyperion has chosen to build an oil refinery on pristine farmland in Union County in South Dakota. South Dakota residents have been told by Hyperion that the refinery will follow the environmental guidelines of the EPA, which are at the lowest threshold of protection.

Refineries in green states, such as California, must follow the state environmental laws which are stricter than EPA and more protective of the environmental effects of the refining. South Dakota does not have existing laws to protect the dumping of waste into the groundwater or the release of toxins in the air that exceed EPA. Vermillion will receive much of the fallout.

Be informed. Talk to your friends, office colleagues and neighbors. The quality of the air and water in our area will change with an oil refinery just up the road.

Lana R. Svien

Fight Hyperion

To the editor:

I'm writing with regard to the Hyperion oil refinery proposed for Union County. My husband's family settled in this area many years ago. Their great-grandfather helped organize the rural St. Paul Lutheran Church near the proposed refinery. The three children and their families continue to live and prosper in or near the area Hyperion proposes to condemn to an oil refinery.

We love our clean air, lack of crime, friendly neighbors and a healthy enviornment. Why don't we hear any concern from our governor about that? Even if Hyperion is a "clean green refinery," it will not leave us with clean air and water quality as we have now.

They cannot guarantee it, because it cannot happen. Even with the most modern methods, they will pollute our water, soil and air.

Those of us that oppose the Hyperion refinery are people of South Dakota also, and the governor has forgotten that we have rights also. He talks of economic gains – but he never addresses the losses. Loss of clean air, clean water and soil. Loss of an innocent community. Once lost, never to be regained for future generations. He is supposed to guard over all the people of South Dakota, not the big shots from Texas.

Consider some of the health issues. All oil refineries emit hazardous chemicals into the air. We have none of this now. He does not address this issue.

This will be a big political boost for the governor and disaster for our way of life.

Help send Hyperion back to Texas. Fight!

Carolyn Hanson
Elk Point

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