From: Steven Schild
Republican Sen. Jeremy Miller is talking out both sides of his mouth when it comes to the frac sand industry’s impact on citizens, communities and the environment.
Miller recently voted against a measure that would’ve protected trout streams by requiring frac sand operations to be at least a certain distance away from those streams. That proposal not only has broad citizen support, it also has backing from Trout Unlimited and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In a statement, Miller tried to explain his failure to support that measure by saying, “Let’s make sure we work with experts and look at the research and science before passing new laws.” If the DNR and Trout Unlimited aren’t experts about trout, then who is?
Likewise, when local officials from throughout Southeastern Minnesota went to the Minnesota Legislature in February to “plead …for state help to halt the expansion of industrial frac sand mining until more is known about the industry’s effects on air, water and public health” (Star-Tribune, Feb. 20) Miller opposed that, too. If you truly value research and science, Sen. Miller, then why did you oppose what amounts to a request for research and science about frac sand?
And are you forgetting, Sen. Miller, that the Winona City Council called on you and Rep. Gene Pelowski to seek state regulation of the frac sand industry? How can you say you’re listening to your constituents when you ignore what local governments throughout Southeastern Minnesota are asking for?
All we’ve seen from you on this issue, Sen. Miller, is the laissez-faire, “let business do what business wants to do” attitude, which all too often devastates economies and environments and does irreparable damage to human beings and their quality of life.