From: Al Kochenderfer
You know some of us oppose the CAPX2020 power line, we oppose coal fired generating plants, we oppose wind turbines, we oppose nuclear powered generators, we oppose anything to do with the hydraulic fracturing drilling process and the sand it uses, we oppose many energy-related things, BUT we all sure expect the lights to come on when we flip the switch! If we drive a motor vehicle powered by electricity, a hybrid, gasoline, diesel or CNG we use the energy produced by the methods we protest. There is plenty of hypocrisy in all of us! I often wonder if there are any unemployed workers qualified for the sand industry jobs who are protesting against it. ALL of the people protesting at the many public hearings Iíve attended appear to be well employed or comfortably retired. Someone needs to speak and act for those less fortunate than those mentioned!
How does Buffalo County enter into all this babbling? The basic key ingredient to our nation producing NG and oil is the sand used in the hydraulic fracturing drilling process. We are key to all the hope AND promise I speak of above. WE HAVE THE NEEDED SAND. However we are not alone, other areas of our nation have some also. Buffalo County and many of its residents are simply poor and lack employment. Developing our sand industry in a responsible manner, i.e., in accordance with all applicable federal, state and county regulations, is the best economic opportunity Iíve seen in this county in my 68 years! These new energy sources are good for America and Buffalo County. Yes, we must manage the production of it in a responsible manner for the benefit of all.
In President Obamaís recent State Of The Union address he emphasized one main point: this nation needs JOBS-JOBS-JOBS. That is what the nation AND Buffalo County need. All positive economic changes for our tax base and quality of life for our people will emanate from improved jobs. The overall sand industry, which includes all support jobs, will certainly help accomplish this for some years to come. How many? Estimates are that we have oil and NG reserves accessible only by hydraulic fracturing drilling for at LEAST 30 years. If we allow a competitive sand industry to develop, we could expect at LEAST 30 years of improved jobs and economy.
We, the residents of Buffalo County stand at the crossroads of our economic future. We have the opportunity to do something about being a very poor county with high unemployment. We know that agriculture jobs are at a minimal level and out-of-county jobs are inadequate. Our land has withstood heavy agricultural usage for over 150 years, sometimes with less than good practices and without much protective regulation. I feel totally confident that it will do just fine being used in a heavily regulated manner for the purpose of mining sand. We can continue on our present path of economic and social decline or make the choice of doing everything possible to improve our situation. The sand mining industry offers such an opportunity. I ask that you support it by contacting your County Board Supervisor immediately.