Democrats submit public record requests on proposed plant

To the editor:

This week the Dubois County Democratic Party and Hoosiers for Justice, an Indianapolis-based public interest group, served formal requests for public records on the City of Huntingburg, the Vice-President, the Governor, the Departments of Environmental Management and Economic Development, Lincolnland, Senators Messmer and Houchin and Representatives Lindauer and Bartels.  

The requests seek all information about the proposed Dale Riverview plant to convert 1.6 million tons of coal into 4.8 million barrels of diesel and 2.5 million barrels of naphtha each year. It was prompted by the Huntingburg Mayor’s admission he is “interested” in accepting its industrial waste water into the City’s drinking water reservoir. The heavy metals and carcinogens from the industrial wastewater threaten to make Huntingburg a “Flint—Michigan 2.0.”  

Politicians instinctively avoid controversy but surreptitiously support peculiar ideas, until confronted with an audible recording of their private poker game wagering the People’s drinking water. So keep your eyes on Ferdinand, Jasper, and Holland water reservoirs. The Director of Lincolnland Economic Development Corporation said he’s looking for other places to “use” the Riverview industrial wastewater if Huntingburg doesn’t, because "we need more water" here. Sounds like "we need salt water because we’re dying of thirst."  

Note Pence was Governor when Riverview was blocked in Vermillion County. Then, Governor Holcomb met with Riverview in Switzerland. Our State Senators and Representatives had no response in December 2018 when they heard about Huntingburg accepting industrial wastewater.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the question is “are the politicians still in the bag?” Have they weighed some economic or political gain from industrial wastewater, but not weighed the risk to pregnant mothers, new born infants and children? We need transparency to know.

In the meantime, this is the dumbest environmental idea I’ve heard in my lifetime. Our political leaders owe transparency to our children, born and unborn. They owe no duty to political pals and financial friends.  

We are all equal, but some may think they are “more equal than others,” to quote George Orwell.

—Mike Kendall, Chairperson
Dubois County Democratic Party

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