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Even though it just turned 100 years old, Sinclair Oil is hardly resting on its laurels.

The Salt Lake City-based company, run for two-thirds of its existence by either Harry Sinclair or Earl Holding, is in an expansionist era.

"Our big push right now is to take the Sinclair brand coast-to-coast," said Clint Ensign, the company's vice president of government relations.

"We're in 24 states right now, concentrated in the Rocky Mountain and central Plains states," he added, noting there are now 1,300 Sinclair-branded service stations. "We've moved into California and have stations in Louisiana, even New York and New Jersey."

To herald this presence in Eastern markets, Sinclair entered its trademark logo — Dino the apatosaurus dinosaur — last fall in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Dino first appeared in Sinclair ads in 1932 and then made its debut as an oversize-balloon figure at the Macy's parade in 1963.

"Our logo has stayed the same for 84 years," Ensign said. "That attests to how much people love the dinosaur and the dinosaur brand."

For state officials, Dino's ability to endure in a fast-changing ad world reflects Sinclair's steadiness as a Utah business operator — alone and as part of the wider corporate empire assembled by Holding, who died in 2013, and his wife, Carol.

That includes Grand America and Little America hotels and Snowbasin ski area above Ogden, site of the downhill skiing competitions during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

"Sinclair has been a major contributor to the state's economy for a century," said Jeffrey Barrett, deputy director of the Governor's Office of Energy Development.

"You can only say that about a handful of companies. It's hard to quantify the value of longevity, but certainly it's appreciated and recognized," he added. "Sinclair has been a great partner of ours. They're very committed to the community. They've invested a lot of money here and pay high wages."

An ambitious expansion might seem questionable for a U.S. petroleum producer these days, given scientific consensus on human-made climate change and the need to reduce carbon dioxide-emitting use of fossil fuels. But one leading environmentalist said Sinclair's plans fit a pattern of postponing action on greenhouse gases.

"I'd like to think we would be moving very urgently and aggressively to deal with this looming crisis," said Matt Pacenza, executive director of the environmental advocacy group HEAL Utah.

"But pragmatically speaking, we're not moving that quickly," said Pacenza, who added that U.S. demand for gasoline continues to grow, especially in the West.

"And in that context," he said, "this may be an appropriate business decision for a company like Sinclair, although a distressing one."

Sinclair got its start in 1916, when Oklahoma businessman Harry Sinclair consolidated the assets of 11 small petroleum companies.

Sinclair Oil quickly prospered. By the late 1920s, it was producing 80,000 barrels of oil daily from its refineries, distributing much of it through 900 miles of pipelines.

It even survived the Teapot Dome scandal of the mid-1920s, when Interior Secretary Albert Fall took bribes for granting a Wyoming oil lease to Sinclair Oil without competitive bidding.

While Fall went to prison for his role, Harry Sinclair was never convicted of giving a bribe, although he spent time behind bars for contempt of court after prosecutors showed he had hired private investigators to follow jurors.

That episode hardly slowed Sinclair's career. He remained the company's boss until retiring in 1949.

Twenty years later, Sinclair Oil went through a major transition when it was acquired by Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO).

To avoid Justice Department antitrust objections, Sinclair's assets west of the Mississippi River were sold to a company called PASCO Inc. In 1976, Holding bought out PASCO.

"That was a very difficult period for someone to purchase an oil company involved primarily in refining and marketing, which Sinclair was at the time," Ensign said. "It was shortly after the Arab oil embargo and it was the price-control era for crude oil."

Calling Holding a "dominant leader and visionary," Ensign said Sinclair expanded despite a variety of challenges, such as 1980s deregulation, the requirement to remove lead from gas, the lowering of benzene and sulfur levels in fuels, and mandates to add detergents and other additives.

"A number of characteristics were changed that have made gas much cleaner," Ensign explained, "and caused it to keep pace with changes in vehicle [engines]."

As a refiner and marketer, Sinclair supplies gasoline and other fuel products to large Utah operations such as Rio Tinto Kennecott and Hill Air Force Base as well as service stations.

Some are branded as Sinclairs, but even more carry other names, such as Holiday Oil.

"I like Sinclair because they let me fly my own name. Most [oil] companies won't let you do that," said Holiday Oil owner Jerry Wagstaff, who has two dozen stations that get gas exclusively from Sinclair.

"That was a real motivation with Sinclair. They just wanted to sell the gas," said Wagstaff, who had known the Holdings since his youth. "I'd mark my stations Holiday Oil, and I'd buy their gas. Everybody was happy."

While most of Sinclair Oil's 1,200 current employees live in Wyoming, the company's refineries and exploration and production outfits, along with its trucking and pipeline systems, are overseen from corporate headquarters at 550 E. South Temple.

Barrett pointed to the UNEV pipeline as an example of how Sinclair revs up Utah's economic engine and quality of life. Sinclair is a minority owner in the 400-mile-pipeline, which moves finished oil products from Woods Cross to Las Vegas.

"Every time finished products go down the pipeline, it takes truck traffic off the roads, so there are environmental and potentially safety benefits," the state energy official said. "It benefits our local infrastructure, too. Not a lot of people see those investments, but they are important to the state."

People will be seeing more and more of Dino, however, as Sinclair pushes its expansion.

The company just bought a major oil terminal in Boise from Tesoro, Ensign said, and its exploration and production work goes on in North Dakota's Bakken oil field.

"The West is still growing. We see a need for gas and diesel for decades to come," he added. "As opportunities present themselves, where they make sense, we're ready to grow."

Reporter Tony Semerad contributed to this story.