Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Voters approve zoning ordinance for Hyperion oil refinery

The voters approve a new oil refinery in South Dakota; the first new refinery in the US in 32 years. Sioux City Journal
Flashing a smile, Joyce Bortscheller briefly hugged Hyperion Energy Center executive Preston Phillips as she greeted him in the backyard of her home here. Bortscheller, president of the Elk Point City Council, had invited about 250 supporters to an outdoor barbecue Tuesday to await the returns for arguably the most important election in Union County's history. The big crowd didn't leave disappointed. As midnight approached, they popped the champagne corks, celebrating a hard-fought victory that keeps alive the county's chances of landing the nation's first all-new oil refinery in 32 years. By a solid 58 percent to 42 percent margin, county voters approved Hyperion's request to rezone 3,292 acres of farm land for a new classification, Energy Center Planned Development.
Why would they approve such an industrial site?
Supporters cited the once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunities the $10 billion project would bring. An average of 4,500 construction jobs would be required over four years. With the refinery up and running, Hyperion pledges to create 1,826 full-time jobs at hourly wages of between $20 and $30. "I think it would be a great opportunity for young people to stay in this area instead of leaving for other states," Kelly Hoekstra, 31, of Dakota Dunes said after casting a vote in favor of the rezoning.
We will all benefit from additional capacity, but the locals will benefit the most.

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