Huge Opportunity

To the editor:

I am a 42 year old truck driver that lives in Union County. I have been here for 24 years, trucking most of the time so I have traveled in all 48 states and have been in Mexico and three provinces in Canada. I own and operate my own rig and am very tired of paying the Middle East my hard earned money, rather than paying good, hard-working South Dakota people for the fuel I use.

All I hear is that is Hyperion is not answering my questions. In order to hear the answer, you have to listen! When I see these hog and cattle lots go in, I don't see half the plan before hand. I think that Hyperion has put out a fair amount of information on their plans to process crude oil into gas, diesel, oil, and plastics, and many other compounds.

There are so many opportunities in this deal. All that I have heard is people working for Hyperion, but in the past 24 years I have been here, I have seen more businesses go out of business, than start (including farming.) It is a fact that there are fewer farmers than 20 years ago.

As for comparing to other refinery cities, we can't fairly do this without extensively investigating what was there before. Was there plant closures? Are these ag counties? Where is the geographic location? Who is running the community?

I am glad to hear the majority of the people are in support of this project. There are so many opportunities for new business and community improvement.

As I said, I am a trucker and I am so disappointed when I hear about heavyweight trucks and refer to those in my trade as criminals. Here are a few things to remember:

We need gas to get to town to buy what we need.

We need diesel to farm the land.

We need diesel to get to town to sell.

When there is a major hurricane in the gulf (where most of the refining is done) it severely increases our costs.

Any time we increase our population it causes more traffic, more trucks, more jobs and tax income. Think about this: if the cost of building a road goes up 100 percent like they have in the past and there are the same amount of residents, your taxes have to go up, but if there are twice as many residents your taxes stay the same or decrease. We have to grow to stay prosperous.

There will be chances for people with business degrees to start new businesses. People with management degrees can work in the refinery, and there will be more room for restaurants to open more motels. All of these businesses need support staff!

I have been told by the opposition that if Hyperion comes we will not have fish in the rivers, that it will belch clouds of black smoke. The deer and other animals will die. As I said, I travel the country. I have seen the people in Wyoming Streams, hunting, fishing, swimming, and boating. Let's use our heads. If it was that polluted I would not witness things like this. I visited the refinery in Texas City and saw nothing like the pictures the opposition is showing.

I live here so I don't want anything devastating to happen. I have read the plans and think that Hyperion is using all the technology possible to build and operate this refinery in a responsible manner. Let's look at this from another view, what would Sioux City be without IBP or Morells? What would Vermillion be without the university?

This is a huge opportunity for the county, state, and country.

As for this land, they will be using all claims. Have you seen all the land in CRP? Our taxes are being paid to those farmers to keep these acres out of production. I am for cleaner, more renewable fuel, also, but at this time we are depending on oil. There is hardly anything you own that is not made from oil or it's bi-products.

Roger Cromwell

Elk Point

Thank you, Clay County

To the editor:

I want to thank the people of Clay County who met with my staff assistant, Erik Nelson, during his Outreach Day in Vermillion and Wakonda. Erik has updated me on the information and feedback that he received from Clay County citizens.

Erik had the opportunity to meet with a variety of business and community leaders during his day in the county. Erik started his day in Wakonda holding traveling office hours at the Community Cafe. He then met with officials from the various school, towns, and business organizations in Vermillion and Wakonda.

My staff's Outreach Days help me maintain communication with local communities regarding their ongoing development and growth and keep me informed of any issues of concern that they are dealing with. Again, I thank everyone who shared their concerns during these meetings. As always, feel free to contact my office toll free at 1-800-537-0025.


Tim Johnson

United States Senate

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