Questions about coal-to-diesel jobs

To the editor:

As we wait IDEM’s announcement of the draft permit approval for the Riverview Energy project (yes, even those of us opposed to this project expect IDEM to approve the permit because IDEM has never denied a permit request), I remembered some questions that were asked to Mr. Utter at the first informational public forum that was held at the Dale Presbyterian Church Micah Center in April.

Mr. Utter had told the gathering of 100-plus citizens that he didn’t know the answers but would get them.

The questions were about the 225 jobs that Riverview Energy is claiming Spencer County will gain from this project:

How many will be upper management positions, and the pay range; mid-management positions, and pay range; chemical, electrical and mechanical engineer positions, and pay range; production positions,  and pay range; office positions, and pay range; custodial, maintenance positions, and pay range; outside positions, and pay range?

The actual titles of the 225 positions may differ from the ones above, but you get the idea.

Also, the LEDC hasn’t given Spencer County citizens any idea of what they predict other benefits will be based on their “expertise” from other projects around the state. I’m sure there is some type of formula that the state and local economic development groups use to estimate the impact of various projects.

Like: Of the 225 new positions, how many will actually go to present Spencer County citizens? Of the new people expected to work in Spencer County, how many are expected to actually move into Spencer County? Of those that are expected to become residents of the county, how many will have children and what is the anticipated student increase our schools could have?

Going back to IDEM’s eventual issue of a draft permit, expect a big announcement when it happens.  Remember, it doesn’t mean that the project is a done deal.

There are a lot of other hurdles that Riverview Energy has to clear before the refinery goes into production.  Keep in mind that the Leucadia Gasification project was issued a permit and they had it renewed and extended three to four times and it was fought for over seven years before it was dropped.  The Ohio Valley Resources proposed fertilizer plant was also issued a permit by IDEM and it was extended, and yet, that project was dropped.

Just obtaining a permit from IDEM doesn’t mean the project is a done deal.

Please stay informed: or at Southwest Indiana Citizens for Quality of Life on Facebook.

—Chuck and Janet Botsko

More on