Tastes kind of oily

South Dakota State Roundup

Published May 1, 2008  | May 2008 issue

Two major proposals having to do with oil refining got recent approval to continue in (or through) South Dakota.

In Union County, in the southeastern corner of the state, county commissioners approved a request by Hyperion Resources to move forward on its plan to build a $10 billion oil refinery on a 3,300-acre site there. A unanimous 5-0 vote came despite an earlier hearing that saw 500 attendees and 100 or more people testify regarding the proposal. Opponents of the measure are expected to begin collecting signatures for a referendum vote by county residents. If built, the refinery would process 400,000 barrels a day of thick crude from Canada.

Over in Pierre, the state Public Utilities Commission held a public hearing on a separate pipeline proposal by TransCanada. The underground pipeline would transport 21 million gallons of Canadian crude through the state daily on its way to U.S. refineries. Though not formally related to the Hyperion refinery proposal, the pipeline runs due south along the eastern side of the state and exits through Yankton County, roughly 50 miles from the proposed site of the refinery.

Ronald A. Wirtz