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Reader's View: Husky lacks will to commit to safer way

In the Sunday, June 3 article "The Risk Remains," Husky Energy spokesman Mel Duvall said Husky is committed to "looking at" safer alternatives to the toxic hydrogen fluoride refining process. However, Husky appears noncommittal when it comes to actually moving to a safer strategy once one is found. This is totally unacceptable to me and perhaps to others in the community.

Chevron in Salt Lake City seems to have taken a different stance. To assure the people of Salt Lake City, Chevron has committed to the use of much safer ionic liquids to completely phase out its hydrogen fluoride risk by 2020.

Why can't Husky Energy commit to following suit if a viable alternative such as this is found to be successful? Why would we stick with something that could (and probably is) already causing great fear among the people of Duluth and Superior and beyond? It is not comforting to know that 180,000 people in the area could be subjected to injury or death.

Even though the gas and oil industry appears to have the expertise as well as the money, the Husky Energy plant seems to lack the will to commit itself to finding a safer method. It was reported in the same article that last year Husky Energy spent $1.7 billion on capital projects and posted a profit of $605 million. In spite of all this, the risk of hydrogen fluoride appears to be downplayed by Husky Energy.

I agree with Superior Mayor Jim Paine who wonders why Husky Energy can't just make a commitment to get rid of hydrogen fluoride altogether. I'm quite sure we would all sleep better at night.

Patricia Richard-Amato