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Daugaard Appoints Hyperion Backer Karpen to Oversee Hyperion Refinery Permit

Governor Dennis Daugaard has shown his bipartisan stripes by appointing a Democrat to the state Board of Minerals and Environment. Unfortunately, that Democrat is Doyle Karpen. The Union County Commission chairman, who faced no challenge for his seat on that august body this year, now joins the gents in Pierre who review the permits for, among other things, the proposed Hyperion refinery in Union County near Elk Point.

Governor Daugaard calls Karpen a great addition to the BME who will "prove invaluable..." yeah, to promoting Governor Daugaard's Big Oil agenda. Karpen loves Hyperion. When the Union County Commission issued the local permits for Hyperion, Karpen said Hyperion would be "fantastic" for South Dakota, bringing jobs and tax revenue. He sternly hammered down public criticism of the refinery (for which Hyperion has still not turned one spade of earth). Karpen's Hyperion boosterism was bad enough that when he ran for Public Utilities Commission in 2010, I voted for his opponent, Dusty Johnson, the only state-level Republican who got my vote that year.

And now Karpen gets to vote on state-level permits for Hyperion.

If I didn't know better, I would think that some days, Governor Daugaard is looking for ways to drive me nuts.


  1. UnionCo 2012.08.22

    I question Doyle's qualifications, other than the fact that he favors Hyperion and selling Union County down the river.

  2. Lee Schoenbeck 2012.08.22

    a very knowledgable former secretary of DENR said there's no chance this company ever gets that project going --- the only thing they are turning over is divisivness

  3. larry kurtz 2012.08.22

    Lederman and Schoenbeck in the same thread: one is a Zionist victimizing a Democrat under a pseudonym, the other, a pragmatist likely one the winning side of the lawsuit stopping Hyperion. just wow.

  4. Vincent Gormley 2012.08.22

    At the Democratic State Convention in 2010 I was sitting in the bar at the Ramkota next to Karpen who had his back to me. He said " I love oil. And I love coal and nuclear. I wish Big Stone had gone through. I don't think there's enough wind in South Dakota". Well there was enough wind right there in that bar at that very moment, all the way from Union County. I'm glad I did not vote for Karpen to be the nominee for PUC ( I was a Minnehaha County delegate) or in the general election.

  5. Dougal 2012.08.22

    Hyperion has the correct first four letters. Hype. Lee's information is correct, although I'm curious what the explanation was, coming from the former DENR secretary. Since it was first revealed to the public (after the company went farm-to-farm obtaining contracts -- not an action that builds trust) that the "Gorilla" project was an oil refinery, word from D.C. sources was it would never be built because its "financiers" were relying on a $10 billion allocation from the Federal Treasury. Congress would be insane, according to my sources, to hand $10 billion of your taxes to oil speculators.

    Since the economy and the Treasury have struggled with The Great Recession, the prospects of handing $10 billion or even $5 billion to oil tycoons for a South Dakota investment are ridiculously more remote and becoming even more remote with each month. The only thing HYPErion has resulted in is bitterly dividing the people of Union County over this farce. Its promoters' phony claims that this will be a "green refinery" only deepens the sham.

    Selecting an obvious shill for Hyperion to serve on this board is cheap and disappointing.

  6. Douglas Wiken 2012.08.22

    Hey Cory, maybe Daugaard thinks it is a short trip to drive you nuts?

    More seriously, I need to talk to you for a few minutes. Give me a call.

  7. Rorschach 2012.08.22

    The left wing of the Democratic Party has its purity tests just like the right wing of the Republican Party. But unless we all go cold turkey on driving our cars we need refineries.

    I'm with Lee. I don't expect Hyperion to ever build a refinery. They don't have the financial backing or the oil contracts needed. But that doesn't mean someone else won't build a refinery in Union County. I think Hyperion is hoping to get all the permits in place & try to sell the permits to someone who can fund the refinery and make it happen. When the next hurricane wipes out refineries in the gulf coast, SD will look like an attractive place to build a refinery.

    And Cory, how did that vote for Dusty Johnson turn out? Would he have been more liberal, or more opposed to Hyperion, than Doyle Karpen if he had stayed in office?

  8. UnionCo 2012.08.22

    In regard to funding a new refinery, Arizona Clean Fuels of Yuma, AZ, had completed their permitting process 2 or 3 years ago, but could not find the funding and are now totally disbanded according to their Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to all of you who understand that Union County was sold a bunch of lies by Hyperion. It's been a long and very divisive fight to save our highly productive farmland, and clean air and water.

  9. Troy Jones 2012.08.22

    Doyle is married to a lovely Potter County gal who is a sister to one of my childhood classmates. Doesn't that count for something? :)

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