From: Doug Nopar
In your last issue, Jennifer Dessner called critics of the frac sand industry “liars.” Unbelievable! (no pun intended).
Dessner is the public relations rep for Minnesota Proppant, the new frac sand company that hopes to spend $100 million building the largest frac processing plant in the U.S. in St. Charles. One thing I’ve noticed about the frac sand industry since it first showed its face in Winona County about 18 months ago is that it is riddled top to bottom with deception, unethical behavior, false promises and a complete lack of public disclosure.
A few examples? How about the frac industry’s hiring of at least 3 county zoning officials in western Wisconsin? Or MN Proppant telling the St. Charles Township Board that the Winona County Highway Department had already granted permission for the company to use county road right-of–way for their 6-mile long frac slurry pipeline, when County officials had not yet even been approached? Or Superior Sand Systems telling 40 Land Stewardship Project members in August that they would not be exploring sand mining or processing in Minnesota when a few weeks later they asked Winona County officials about mining under the bluffs near Stockton and then tried to establish a sand processing site in Wabasha?
And then how about Superior Sand Systems’ insistence on the City of Wabasha approving their frac site before the end of 2012, lest they lose out on millions of dollars of business? Wabasha approved the site, yet now it seems, the company didn’t have a firm contract on sand after all.
The frac sand industry’s lack of honesty is only rivaled by that of its big sister, the Oil and Gas Industry. Big Oil and Gas has used its excessive profits to buy off university scientists and fabricate studies that imply that fracking for oil and gas is environmentally safe.
As cities, townships and counties consider applications and rules for frac sand, let’s hope that truth, openness and honesty prevail.