Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Secret South Dakota Project Makes National Headlines

Secret South Dakota Project Makes National Headlines
May 25, 2007

It's been the talk of South Dakota. What's the big... "super secret" project in the works for Union County? That question is now in the national spotlight... after making the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Check out this headline in Friday's Wall Street Journal. It reads... "In South Dakota, Farming Community Tracks a Gorilla."

Jim Cody, who owns Cody's Homestead Restaurant in Elk Point is one of the locals featured in the article. He's spent a lot of time researching this highly secretive project. He's got a few ideas, but doesn't claim to have it perfect.

Jim Cody, Cody's Homestead Owner says, "It's just all conjecturing and we don't know for sure what it is going to be, but I am sure that it will come out at some time."

Right or wrong, Cody's theory starts with the plans for the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline... which will cut right through Eastern South Dakota.

Cody says, "We thought all of a sudden we have 435 thousand barrels or crude oil a day coming down to Yankton, South Dakota."

Cody says his research shows plans for some of that oil, but claims the math just doesn't work.

Cody says, "There would be 200 thousand extra barrels of oil that are going to have to go some place, but was never announced."

He also thinks a retired Marathon Oil executive, Richard E. White, may be involved in the land-option deals being offered to local land owners... because he says signatures on the land sales... match a mortgage paper in Ohio.

Time will tell if Cody is right. But regardless... a project that could bring 2-thousand jobs to the region leaves many unsure.

I have mixed feelings. I have thought a lot about it but I can't come up with what it is. I think for the good overall, I think it would be a good thing.

The answers to the Siouxland Gorilla mystery may still be a long time coming.

A spokesperson for Governor Mike Rounds... says South Dakota is one of several states being considered for this project. But at least the Gorilla hunters will have something to keep them busy.

Now you may be wondering why this project has been dubbed the Gorilla Project. These concrete Gorilla's have a lot to do with that.

The South Dakota Governor's office confirms that the Gorilla's located just west of I-29 near Elk Point played a part in the name. The statues have been on the side of the road for about two years and are actually for sale through the Statuary.

Pat Thames, Statuary Manager, says,"The gorillas are about six and a half feet tall, they weigh 35-hundred pounds and they cost 35-hundred dollars. It has to do with the exit and the gorillas just happen to be there."

The project name also relates to it's proposed size. The secret manufacturing facility could employ 2,000 Siouxlanders, and be located on over four thousand acres of rural Union County.

Updated: May 25, 2007, 7:26 pm

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