From: Jane Cowgill
I couldnít believe it when I read Sen. Millerís statement in both the Winona Post and the Winona Daily News trying to take credit for the frac sand legislation that passed on Monday. Getting out a press release taking credit for something he had nothing to do with is almost the only initiative he has taken on the frac sand issue.
A quick look on the internet reveals that Sen. Miller authored only 11 bills this year and that none of them had to do with frac sand. Further, he signed onto only one bill dealing with frac sand. That bill proposes that the state create ďmodel ordinancesĒ which local governments could adopt if they chose. This bill is not helpful, no one asked for it, and it never got a hearing.
What constituents did ask for were strong state standards to be put in place before the industry was allowed to move forward.
However, Sen. Miller was the key vote in committee killing the state standards proposed by Sen. Matt Schmit of Red Wing and Trout Unlimited, and endorsed by the DNR. These standards were the result of work with experts and would have put the most sensitive areas of southeast Minnesota (those near trout streams) off limits to frac sand mines.
The provisions that did pass are not everything we wanted, but some will be very helpful. Again we have Sen. Matt Schmit of Red Wing to thank for this. Sen. Schmit worked all session and moved bills forward even when some leaders of his own party disagreed with him. Thatís because he was representing and fighting for his district. I canít say that about Senator Miller. He carried water for the frac sand special interests all session. Now he wants us to think that he actually cared about what his constituents wanted. We arenít fooled.