Refinery to bring jobs we don't need and can't fill

To the editor:

Brian Howey reported in his Evansville Courier column on Jan. 6 that Indiana Manufacturing Association President Brian Burton said, “45 percent of the Hoosier workforce will be retiring in the next decade.” Governor Eric Holcomb has called this “the ‘silver tusnami’ with 10,000 American Baby Boomers retiring each week. Indiana will need to be filling a million jobs in the next 10 years.”

According to the same article, Holcomb and Burton are trying to come up with some ideas as to how to find workers to fill these job vacancies. One of their ideas is to begin a “relocation incentive program.”  New workers coming to Indiana would not be required to pay a state income tax for five years.

Another idea is to spend increased monies to put into the state’s job training grants from $10 to $20 million dollars.

Gov. Holcomb is also wanting to invest in quality of life. Indiana ranked 48th last year (

At the same time, Tom Utter, director of Lincolnland Economic Development, is wanting to bring Riverview Energy’s Coal-to-Diesel Refinery to Dale. His only argument for bringing the highly pollutant refinery to the area is we need jobs. 

I am confused why Mr. Utter and his backers want to build the coal-to-diesel refinery in order to increase jobs in this area since, with the increase in available jobs due to the “silver tsunami”, we will need to use tax monies to entice out-of-state workers to fill these jobs. And then, this 512-acre refinery will, according to IDEM’s Air Quality Permit Draft, annually spew over 2.2. million tons of carbon dioxide, 32 tons of hazardous air particles, 255 tons of carbon monoxide, 3 tons of hydrogen sulfide and 224 tons of sulfur dioxide, that will allow all of us to smell the odor of rotten eggs. So much for quality of life!

Are you as confused as I am about why the coal-to-diesel refinery is being pushed down the majority of citizens’ throats?  Could it be that it doesn’t make sense at all, except that a few people will be making lots of money by “selling” it here?

­—Charlene Hess
Santa Claus

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