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Refinery opponent Doug Maurstad said this week he’s taking a break from the fight.

“I’m burned out,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Been on this subject for over two years and I’m convinced it will never happen, and if it does, I can’t control it anyway.”

Maurstad said he regretted that his argument was reaching such a small audience, but remained philosophical. “This refinery is never going to happen,” he wrote, “and look how many lives are in turmoil because of it.”

 

He said the Journal should continue to ask where the oil is coming from – he doesn’t think the Alberta tar sands are a viable source; how refinery products will leave the refinery, and the literal money question – where is the $10 billion coming from.

 

For now,  Hyperion is sticking with the tar sands and has said it will both pipe and truck out finished products. As for financing, if any is in place the company is not revealing its source. The fact is, that none of those answers will matter if the company can’t get the pre-construction air quality permit it needs to move ahead on the project. It doesn’t make sense to pour more money into pipeline development or rights of way or preconstruction activity until that permit is locked in.

 

So, is Maurstad mistaking this lull -- at least in what the public sees – as the project’s demise? Or is it the calm before the flurry of preparations to build?

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