No Water for Oil


Despite strong doubts about Hyperion’s funding and the feasibility of their tar sands oil refinery (and accompanying coal-fired power plant) project near Elk Point, they are moving forward with a request for Clay Rural Water Systems to provide 10-12 million gallons of water per day to the project.

That request will be entertained tonight at a meeting of Clay Rural Water Systems Board of Directors, 30376 SD HWY 19 (about 11 miles north of Vermillion) at 7:30pm.  Need a ride?  One can be arranged–contact me at organicpeas(AT)hotmail(DOT)com.

The last time CRWS had a public meeting on this issue (October 22, 2009–here’s my post), the member-speakers present were unanimous in their disapproval for the request–especially considering Hyperion’s plan is for CRWS to also provide the infrastructure to provide the water.  Nevertheless, the Board voted 5-8 to “investigate further.”

From their website: Clay Rural Water is “a member-owned non-profit corporation,” whose “sole purpose…is to provide safe, quality drinking water to its members for domestic, farm and business use” (emphasis mine).

Currently, CRWS has six reservoirs with a storage capacity of 1,040,000 gallons.

Hyperion wants 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 gallons per day.  And it wants you, the membership, to pay for the infrastructure that allows them to get it.

If you are a member of Clay Rural (or South Union) Water Systems, please make a point to attend this meeting and to protect your water resources.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. […] intrepid Rebecca Terk of Flying Tomato Farms reminds us that Clay Rural Water meets tonight, Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. She gives directions (30376 SD Hwy 19, 11 miles north of […]

  2. Posted by Mary on January 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    This is very bad. I found the article below on this:

    “After months of speculating among farmers and community leaders near Elk Point, S.D., the so-called “Gorilla” project has finally been unmasked: a huge 400,000 barrel per day “green” oil refinery and related energy facilities that could take a decade to fully develop and cost upward of $10 billion.

    Gorilla, so named because of the project’s immense size, also could be the first oil refinery to be constructed in the United States in more than 30 years.

    So secret was the project that South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds kept Gorilla under wraps for competitive reasons until its formal announcement on June 13 by project sponsor Hyperion Resources, a little known private oil and gas company based in Dallas, Texas.”

    For the whole article, click here: http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/161591867.shtml

  3. They want the community to pay for the infrastructure? Interesting. Being Oklahoma, there is a lot of natural gas drilling in this area. Selling water out of large farm ponds is very lucrative for local farmers, and the new process (frakking) requires a lot of water for a short time. Being on the local soil conservation board, we’re in favor of damns. It’s ironic that the carrot of water sales has built more damns and will keep more soil/water conserved for ancillary uses than the last ten years of cost share programs. The drilling need is temporary, so the rigs move on while the benefits of the damn (livestock water, upstream flood control, keeping soil out of rivers) remain for years to come.

    What surprises me about your situation is that the company is so demanding of your rural water district. The capitalist in me looks harshly upon private sector firms offsetting their costs onto the public. The companies around here will go to great lengths to make sure they have water. I know of one farmer who was approached by the drilling company, which offered to build him a large pond, then buy every gallon of water they took from said pond, at no discount. These water purchases are no small finance either, one frak job gets well into the five figures for water sales.

    Your refinery is tryin to get off on the cheap.

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