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Friday, May 8, 2009

Blogs Rule! Media Dropping Ball on Hyperion Threat to Water, Wildlife, History

South Dakota Watch has struck a gusher of good information from its Union County citizen correspondent Carolyn Carlson. Last month, Carlson gave Mr. Epp a great scoop on how the proposed Hyperion refinery near Elk Point would dig up graves and virgin prairie. This week, Carlson unloads with more, telling us about her efforts to keep her rural water provider from getting snookered by Hyperion, the eagle habitat she's seen on the land Hyperion would Borg-ify, and the Lewis & Clark history the refinery could plow under.

Have you heard a word about this side of the story from any of the major Sioux Falls media? Maybe I've missed it (I have been a bit distracted by homework), but it seems our professional Fourth Estaters are going easy on the big corporation knocking on our door. The most recent Hyperion story I can find on KELO opens this way:

The proposed oil refinery near Elk Point is a multi-billion dollar project that would create thousands of jobs and bring millions of dollars in tax money to the state. Right now, that all hangs on a state air permit approval from the Board of Minerals and Environment [Ben Dunsmoor, "Gov. Picks Board Considering Hyperion Permit," KELOLand.com, 2009.04.16].

That story does go on to note the connection between Hyperion, Governor Rounds, and golf. A preceding story does note public opposition aired at the pollution permit hearings last month. But no mention of the potential harms Carlson and Epp have brought to our attention. The South Dakota professional press have also ignored the dinner dates Hyperion had with the air quality permit board, a story broken by Vermillion blogger Rebecca Terk and given coverage in the Sioux City press.

The geography and culture of Elk Point and Union County will be transformed forever if the Hyperion refinery becomes a reality. Our entire state would experience significant economic and environmental impacts. The Hyperion project deserves every iota of scrutiny we can give it. For our professional media to ignore the very significant information presented by Carolyn Carlson, whether to promote it or debunk it, is irresponsible.

I guess if we want something done right, we have to do it ourselves. Keep up the good work, Carolyn and Todd!

Update 15:15 CDT: And add to the Hyperion watch Alcester resident Doug Maurstad's blog, Old Cranky. He's been raising heck about Hyperion for a year online. Mr. Maurstad is also a big booster of alternative energy, specifically the Pickens Plan... and he quotes Samuel Adams. Keep speaking up, Doug!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the props. Carolyn shows it isn't always the experts who are the smartest people in the room.

    Todd Epp
    SD Watch http://www.southdakotawatch.net


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