Campbell, a Hyperion consultant, was the lead author of the air permit.
Under cross-examination he
a My Voice column in the Oct. 1 Argus Leader, the writer expressed fear
about a low-carbon fuel standard law. The main purpose of such a law is
to decrease carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel-powered
Low-carbon fuel standards would consider carbon
dioxide emissions from well to wheels (emissions during production and
use). These laws are being adopted in several states and countries. The
concept would promote the use of clean fuels such as cellulosic ethanol
and bio-diesel, products that South Dakota can produce in abundance.
low-carbon fuel standard law also would promote hybrid plug-in and
all-electric cars. South Dakota also could be a leader in the
production of wind electricity.
why was the writer so concerned about a low-carbon fuel standard law?
Because he correctly deduced that if we had a national law, the
Hyperion Energy Center in Union County would go straight to the scrap
heap of bad ideas.
Low-carbon fuel standards would cause
the price of dirty fuel to include part of the real cost to the
environment and human health. The writer recognized that the mining of
bitumen (tar sands crude oil) is energy inefficient. He made no mention
of mining causing a massive destruction of the carbon sequestering
boreal forest in Alberta, Canada.
couldn't this new oil refinery be as Hyperion promises: clean and
green? The recent contested air permit hearings in Pierre provided
evidence proving Hyperion's clean-and-green promises to be a myth.
touts its carbon-capture strategy. It is a hollow, misleading myth. The
Hyperion Energy Center could capture only the carbon emissions from the
power plant facility, not from the refinery. That is only about half of
the site's total carbon emissions.
Hyperion decided not to
capture any carbon, reducing expenses by emitting 19 million tons each
year. This almost will double the carbon emissions for the entire
state. Of course, carbon capture without sequestration would be
ineffective and a waste of its money. Long-term sequestration at this
massive level never has been accomplished.
It is revealing that
this so-called "green" refinery would be the sixth largest in the
United States but would emit more than any other. That is because it
would emit more carbon dioxide per refined barrel of oil than any other
refinery. That is not counting emissions from mining and delivering
crude to the Hyperion Energy Center site.
The so-called cutting-edge technology Hyperion touts actually is the
burning of waste petroleum coke for hydrogen, steam and electricity.
That's a very dirty cost-cutting proposition.
agreed with a colleague that describing the Hyperion refinery as green
or clean is "overkill." He noted in an e-mail presented as evidence
that the Hyperion Energy Center's immense emissions of carbon dioxide
substantially impact the green message that Hyperion is promoting to
The public also must know that methane
emissions never were presented in the air permit application. Methane
has an atmospheric life of 12 years. On a molecular level it is 72
times stronger as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
suggest we consider the jobs and sustainable economic development that
could be created if $10 billion to $12 billion were invested in
genuinely clean energy instead of tar sands oil.