“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

Deploring the Engine of Success

Several of the Leftist South Dakota blogs have been making the rounds today touting a CNN video that bashes the Hyperion refinery project at Elk Point.

I know liberals are usually too busy hating business and industry to slow down and think for a second, but there are some important things to consider about this video.

1. It’s from CNN. Need I say more? For liberals and “moderates,” perhaps I do. This is the “objective” Clinton News Network aka Cable News Network we’re talking about here. Which means you get a healthy dose of Leftist bias and slant with every story.

2. Given the decades of anti-business, anti-industry and anti-oil propaganda from the Left that have polluted the political atmosphere of this country, I wouldn’t talk to CNN either if I was trying to build a refinery. You’d be about as well off talking to Michael Moore or the New York Times or some other liberal propaganda machine. Why provide liberals with fresh opportunities to badmouth you? They’ll find enough on their own without your help.

3. Major projects such as an oil refinery don’t just fall out of the sky as a done-deal. Hyperion is only in the preliminary stages of this project, and look at the opposition they’re already facing. Environmentalists from California have started throwing their weight against the project with a little local help, and now they have the CNN attack dogs on Hyperion’s case. Maybe they were right to keep quiet until more of their ducks were in a row. If anything, I’d say the environmental extremists, CNN and several in the South Dakota blogosphere have only proven the wisdom of a quiet, cautious approach.

4. This kind of snide “reporting” from CNN doesn’t help Hyperion’s ability to attract the investors and support they need to get the project off the ground. Of course, CNN knows that. That’s the whole point of the “story.”

5. Hyperion is apparently willing to stick it’s neck out and attempt something every other company has been harassed or intimidated out of for the past 30 years. Our government bureaucracy has made it so difficult to obtain the permits and meet the necessary regulatory requirements to build a refinery that Hyperion deserves a round of applause. But what have they received instead? More bad-mouthing and harassment from environmental extremists and the “mainstream” media. Even as we’re paying more than $4.00 a gallon for gas.

The last refinery built in the United States was in Garyville, LA, in 1976. A company called Hampton Roads Energy Corp tried for nine years before giving up in 1984. About 170 refineries have closed since then. Our refining capacity is pretty much maxed out; demand is about a million barrels a day greater than supply.

Meanwhile, we’re paying through the nose for gasoline. Hyperion estimates the facility would process about 400,000 barrels of oil a day. The Hyperion project would bring about 4,500 construction jobs to Elk Point and about 1,800 permanent jobs. Despite all this, the Hyperion project is only worthy of derision from the liberal peanut gallery.

But since when do we really expect anything else from the Left? They’ve been running down and tearing down capitalism and the United States for years. One might think that paying nearly $100 to fill up a gas tank would wake some of them up, but apparently old habits of snarkiness die hard when hating business has become a way of life.

It’s always easier, too, to sit over in the corner, whine and complain about every idea that comes along. It takes thought, planning, risk-taking and hard work to accomplish great things. Such things aren’t for the faint of heart.

Some will always prefer to grouse than get behind something useful.

There was a squadron motto I remember from the military that liberals would do well to learn and live: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.


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