Hyperion has never built a refinery, but they sure can sell the snake oil. The recession is putting the brakes on all sorts of investment and big energy projects. Oil industry analyst Tom Kloza has said the chances of Hyperion getting its Elk Point project off the blueprints and into South Dakota's ground (and groundwater, and air) are "somewhere between slim and none."
So what does Hyperion say?? With the public hearing for their air pollution permit coming up April 15 and with KELO putting up a blip saying Hyperion's plans are a question mark, Hyperion trots out project executive Preston Phillips to manufacture the only thing he can: Hyperion's special brand of truth. Phillips tells KELO that Hyperion has more support for the refinery than last year—after all, you South Dakotans all want jobs, don't you?
Pure diversion. Hyperion could have all 400,000 workers in South Dakota submitting applications to work at their imaginary refinery, but that wouldn't have a thing to do with whether the refinery gets built. Hyperion needs investors, and of all the things today's nervous investors could sink their money into, a company that can hardly build landfills now trying to break into oil refining probably ranks somewhere around Citigroup and GM.
Hyperion's not dead, but their corporate propaganda shows they're on the defensive. The environmental permitting process gives us South Dakotans a great opportunity to tell Hyperion and our state government that we have better ideas for South Dakota's and America's energy future than some Texas speculators trying to cash in on their fantasies about being big players in a dying industry.
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