Let’s Think Bigger: Superior Refinery Provides Opportunity

Thursday, May 17, 2018 | DrydenWire |


SUPERIOR – Today, candidate for Wisconsin’s 25th Senate District, James Bolen released a statement following his press conference asking Husky Refining to expand its operations in SuperiorWisconsin:

Recently, the Superior refinery sustained significant damage as a result of an explosion at the facility.  Twenty people were injured, but thankfully, there was no loss of life.  I pray those injured will have a full and speedy recovery.

Those who responded quickly to prevent further damage—both human and environmental—should be commended for their quick response.  Fortunately, the owner, Husky Refining has safeguards in place that prevented even greater damage.

After the post-explosion investigation is completed, I am asking Husky Refining to not just rebuild the damaged facility but to expand it.  The Superior refinery has been a cornerstone industrial facility in the region for 60 years. There are many families that depend on the good-paying, family supporting jobs the refinery provides. It is the largest employer in Superior. A decade ago, then owner, Murphy Oil, drew up plans to expand the facility. With Wisconsin’s improved business climate, now is the time to act on that idea and expand the facility.  If elected as the state senator for the 25th District, I will make it a priority to help rebuild the Superior refinery and, if possible, expand it. I will use my experiences building relationships and finding resources to make this vision a reality.

Wisconsin and America’s economy are growing in large part because of affordable energy.  In previous decades, the main beneficiaries of low crude oil prices have been the oil producing states.  Wisconsin workers can benefit by refining more products right here in northern Wisconsin.  Among the products the Superior refinery produces is asphalt.  Paving contractors across northern Wisconsin have an advantage by having a local source of asphalt produced close to home.  As a result, our local governments and local communities benefit. Additionally, the plant produces propane which many families across northern Wisconsin depend on to heat their homes.

America’s renaissance is directly tied to affordable energy.  Abundant sources of crude oil and natural gas have contributed to more jobs, a growing economy and less dependence on hostile foreign governments.  Wisconsin has a terrific asset in the Superior refinery.  Let’s use that strength to build a stronger North. 


James Bolen has served as Executive Director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce for the past eleven years and on the Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation board of directors since 2011. He has served as a volunteer fireman and SCUBA rescue diver and devotes his time to volunteering for world-class events such as the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival and American Birkebeiner.

James recently announced his candidacy for Wisconsin’s 25th Senate District. The 25th District is located in northwestern Wisconsin and is composed of part or all of Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, Vilas and Washburn counties. In terms of size, it is the largest district in Wisconsin.

James currently resides in the Cable area where his family has managed a resort on Lake Owen for the past 20 years. 


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