NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 6, 2008

On Tuesday, Union County in South Dakota voted to approve a request by Hyperion Energy to build a new oil refinery.  This would be the first new refinery built in the United States in 32 years, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

The new facility is expected to bring great economic benefits to the area:  

  • Dallas-based Hyperion expects the project to bring a $10 billion investment to the area and provide as many as 4,500 construction jobs over four years after ground is broken in 2010.
  • Once fully operational, the refinery will need 1,826 full-time workers manning jobs whose wages will range from $20 to $30 an hour.
  • The refinery is expected to turn out 400,000 barrels of ultralow-sulfur gasoline and diesel fuel a day
  • Hyperion estimates the direct and indirect economic impact of the facility will total $13.7 billion a year.

As far as energy is concerned, it could be the biggest thing to happen to this nation since 1976, the date the last new oil refinery was built in the United States.  Since then, environmental groups have successfully bullied policymakers into blocking any new ones:

  • Meanwhile, America has gone from 301 refineries in 1982 to less than half that (149).
  • Domestic oil consumption has increased from 17 million barrels a day in 1982 to nearly 21 million a day in 2007.
  • The country now has to import 10 percent of the gasoline we burn.

With a lack of necessary refineries, domestic output has not kept pace with America's increasing energy demands.  It is no wonder we've become so reliant on foreign crude oil to fuel our economy, says IBD.

Source: "Dakota Gas House," Investor's Business Daily, June 5, 2008.


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