View the latest mailer (pdf)
THEY WILL IMPACT OUR LIVES
“We’re going to impact your lives.” *
• How will it impact your life to have up to 10,000 temporary transient
construction workers in Union County?
• How many new school children will come with the temporary workers?
• How will it impact your child when half the students in their
class turn over every six months?
• Will your child get a quality education or will the classes be
dumbed down to accommodate all the new students that are flowing
in on a weekly basis?
“We know there’s going to be problems with our workers… good red-blooded
American men are going to want a beer sometime and they are going
to go to a tavern and they may over drink and do some things that
you wouldn’t like them to do.” *
• What are some of the things that we wouldn’t want them to do?
• Will there be more drunk drivers on the road?
• Is it possible
that violent crimes in the area will go up?
• Is it possible that burglaries will increase?
“We’re going to make sure that the roads, that the lights, that
the jails-that whatever is needed for the period of time that we
have this construction-is there.” *
• Hyperion plans on importing the criminals and the jail space
to hold them. Where will the victims come from?
• Will you benefit personally from the refinery?
• Is it worth risking what we have for the promises of some out
of state oil interests?
* Dick White, Hyperion Executive - September 21, 2007 (Vermillion
Plain Talk, September 27, 2007)
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to thank you for the strong showing that our first mailer
received. Without your help and donations it would not be possible
to bring you more good information. You will hear some say that C.O.O.P.
is nothing but a bunch of people who are opposed to any development
in the area. Nothing could be further from the truth. We just want
to make sure that development in this area is compatible with what
we currently have.
If you will take the time to research the facts, you will see that
oil refineries do not bring prosperity to an area. This is what we
are trying to point out with our case studies and comparisons. Small
rural counties that have refineries are generally in much worse economic
shape than Union County, South Dakota. It is hard to say if the refineries
caused the economic troubles in these counties, but one thing is certain,
there is no significant statistical data that indicates Union County
will be a better place if a refinery is built here. This statement
is based on careful examination of historical census data.
Save us from what? You hear supporters of the refinery saying that
it will save our area. This is an insult to your intelligence and
your hard work and perseverance. Union County has the second highest
median household income in the state, ahead of Minnehaha County. But
still there are those that say if you take Dakota Dunes out of Union
County you will have nothing. First of all, you can not take Dakota
Dunes out of the county. That is like saying if you take Sioux Falls
out of Minnehaha County you will have nothing, it just does not work
that way. Secondly, the other areas in Union County are doing pretty
well too. It will come as a shock to many people to find out that
Elk Point has a higher median household income than Sioux Falls. In
Union County you can be proud to say “we are doing better.” How can
it be that a $10 billion project would not bring prosperity to a county?
It appears that the reason is found in the nature of the project.
The economy of Union County is primarily a mix of agriculture and
small business. A heavy industrial project of this size will certainly
change that dynamic. It is possible that the people who can afford
to leave will choose to do so and the people who can afford nothing
else will move in to fill the gap. This will decrease property values
in all the surrounding communities as the more affluent leave.
If you have children or grandchildren in the public schools, they
will be affected as well. There will be many thousands of temporary
construction workers for this projectwho will likely bring thousands
of school aged kids with them. Imagine how your child’s education
will suffer if the enrollment is changing every few weeks as workers
come and go. Will we short change our children so the only thing they
can look forward to is a refinery job after graduation? I am not asking
for you to decide about this project right now. All I ask is that
you keep an open mind about everything and do some research. Do not
take my word for this, do not take the governor’s word for this, and
do not take Hyperion’s word for this. Examine all the data yourself
and then determine what is best for you and your family.
Jason Quam - President, C.O.O.P.