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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Refinery should be allowed to expand’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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ljeppson
Salt Lake City, UT

Since you have gone on record favoring the expansion I assume you can answer the following:

1) Has a public health risk assessment been done (by DEQ or the Utah Department of Health) for residents living close to or downwind from the Holly Refinery? This would have reflected current conditions and should have included all environmental issues including ground water.

2) Who owns the Holly Refinery (I assume it isn't the "Holly Oil Company")? What sort of track record do the owners have in the way of pollution control?

Ranch
Here, UT

People don't need to breath clean air. God intended us to breath pollution. That's why he gave us lungs equipped with pollution filters.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

This editorial has managed to discuss the issue of air pollution without any apparent research, or air pollution statistics to back up its claims. This piece has the gravitas of the average late night, weight loss infomercial.

Air pollution in this valley is getting to be a serious issue for Salt Lake Valley's future growth and economic development!

The answer will be found with science based rational solutions, not groundless theories on how things SHOULD work.

Doug10
Roosevelt, UT

Someone should so some math. In the Uintah basin there are on average 7 new wells each week brought online. Each well is beleived to bring in at least 200 barrels per day. One company in the basin drilled over 200 wells last year.

A 60,000 barrel expansion will work for the nexzt 2-3 years but by then the demand for refinery will again surpass the capacity of Holly.

They also refine Canadian crude and there is a solid supply of that oil as it is backed up clear to the border waiting for refining.

You can complain about an expansion of existing business but what about the basin where the rule used to be an oil rig must be 650 feet away from a residence. The manager of Utahs largest oil producer came to the town meeting and threatened to take his drilling business to North Dakota if rules were not changed.

Landowners succumbed and now oil rigs are as close as 30 feet from peoples backyard, and the county and the state just roll over to the oil companies. What was once quiet peaceful living is now like staying in an airport motel where it is relatively quiet .....until you go outside.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Shame on the Deseret News for favoring turning South Davis County into the pollution center of Utah. Why is it that the DNews continues to imply and infer in its articles that Salt Lake County is supreme, and all other counties must sacrifice for its welfare. The majority of the refinery's product that stays in Utah will be used by the vast hordes of Salt Lake County. They are the ones who should take the refinery's pollution.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I am sorry, and yes I know I am biased here, but these plants have been located there as long as I have been making the drive from my old home on Yale Ave to Farmington - over 50 years. Not to many people living in that area moved their before these plants were there. This "now that I am here - you move" mentality is crazy.

And yes, I work for the energy industry, my bias exposed. I am also very pro-alternatives and think we need to develop those aggresively. But the reality is that what ever is built on, or added to that plant will by default make it cleaner and safer because any turnaround or retrofit dictates the plant needs to be raised to newer standards. It will be more instrumented, more safe, and more clean than it was before.

We need a diverse foundation of energy sources. All should be developed. Energy is the most regressive expense to the lower class. We need to develop multiple streams of energy to keep energy affordable - and oil will for the next 50 years stay in important contributor to that mix.

Don$1000
Salt Lake City, UT

We are amazed Utahns do not possess the WILLPOWER to fight for breathable air. They send their teenagers around the world as missionaries to preach the gospel, to be healthy, not to drink coffee, or do drugs, but they themselves are addicted to their high energy use, SUVs, and "economic growth" at the expense of the environment and their own health. What hipocrasy and stupidity! Commuting to work everyday I am disgusted by the sight of pollution covering our valleys. When I see clouds of pollution streaming out of the Bountiful smokestacks my heart goes out to those residents who live in that poison. These companies must pay good money to keep the politicians from taking any real action. I recommend shutting down these polluters and relocating them to rural areas where millions won't be poisoned every day.

ljeppson
Salt Lake City, UT

"This "now that I am here - you move" mentality is crazy." Entirely beside the point. We need to know the current public health risk posed by the refineries, and what it might be with the expanded footprint.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

"Drill baby", by definition, trumps NIMBY every time.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Folks... you keep acting like this data doesn't exist for you to see. Simple go to the EPA Air Data page, and you can see by zipcode the air quality for that location. If you want to see what toxins have been release, it is in the TRI listings. None of this is secret. It is all reported. It is all publicly viewable.

If you don't like the refineries... stop using their product. Otherwise, your complaints are just a little.... well.....

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Refineries are very expensive real estate. Therefore, I say they should be put in like valued real estate near the wealthiest neighborhoods so they can enjoy the view and smell instead of poor people who haven't earned the privilege.

And besides, the refinery should be as close as possible to the people that use the most gasoline per capita, it's just basic economics.

ljeppson
Salt Lake City, UT

"Folks... you keep acting like this data doesn't exist for you to see. Simple " No, it's not quite that simple. A risk assessment compares health outcomes with environmental stress. That's what needs to be done in situations like this. If state officials approved this expansion without such they are not doing state-of-the-art.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

And if they don't pass this "risk assessment compares health outcomes with environmental stress," where do you propose we put them. Perhaps in the country, near our food sources and water supply? Our coast (Utah doesn't have one). Where… ?

Should these same "assessments" be also make for the million or so cars that are consuming and spewing the output of these refineries?

I am all for a green planet…and even renewables. But I also live in the real world where the options for right now are limited. And I don't I just don't understand the mentality that says we should shift what we don't like to someone else's back yard…. even if that back yard is in the country. How is their right to clean air less than yours… I don't get it.

VST
Bountiful, UT

From the article: “Its efforts [Holly Oil] have met with the approval of both the federal Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Utah Division of Air Quality.”

Nothing else needs to be said!

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

The TRI, toxic release inventory, cannot be taken at face value because such are self-reported. So its important to have the health data. How can people make an intelligent decision regarding such developments unless they have an actual risk assessment? I know I can't. I'm neither for this expansion or against it. I just don't know because I don't have necessary information.

Reggie
Centerville, UT

Our air already sickens thousands each winter, and we're proud of creating 40 jobs? This "enlightened" editorial does not consider "why" Holly wants to double production, the impact of truck traffic and that pollution to the area, nor does it consider that the changestoequipment are promises, and NOT systems added into place. This is thick, hot, gunky crude - that would best be treated at the site, where air quality doesn't affect millions of Utahns. The argument "they were here first" does not have validity as population encourages on industry. Were they not here, and asked to build, there is no way they would receive permission. At what point do we say, enough air pollution?! At best the new filters only keep pollution to current levels instead of reducing it. When Wasatch Front cities have the highest pollution rates in the country, there is something wrong, and the irresponsibility of the DNews perpetuates risk over value. This editorial is ill-researched SHAMEFUL and short sighted.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

There is excess oil due to all the exploration in the United States. Keeping the prices low as the Administration has done is a good move.

ingslc
salt lake city, UT

What timing Desert News - to publish on one of the first red air days of the year. Tasteless and crass to all those children and elderly who are right now suffering with the poor air quality.
Merry Christmas!

khippor
Dolores, CO

And now we know that certain religious groups are probably going to receive monetary contributions to say this. Makes me glad I don't live in Utah anymore.

sherlock holmes
Eastern, UT

Refineries are not really to blame for poor air quality. Unfortunately, our refineries are kind of like the property tax notices to tax payers, as they are so visible.

The real enemy preventing better air are the automobiles and trucks. And there are a million of them in our state. If you want to attack the problem, start driving less, or take TRAX. If you aren't willing to do either of those, you might think before you begin to point.

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