Letter: Vital products are provided safelyThis letter is in response to the recent articles in the Eagle on the work Fairmount Minerals is doing with Trout Unlimited and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (R-E, Sept. 29), and the “Aw, Shucks” letter of Oct. 4.
By: Jeff Himes, The Republican Eagle
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the recent articles in the Eagle on the work Fairmount Minerals is doing with Trout Unlimited and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (R-E, Sept. 29), and the “Aw, Shucks” letter of Oct. 4.
Sustainable development is a fundamental value for Fairmount Minerals. We have a robust sustainable development process supporting our communities and non-profit organizations with donations and volunteer labor. I am proud to work for a company and with co-workers that demonstrate sustainable development as a value.
While some are intolerant of any positive mention of mining companies, the favorable recognition Fairmount receives from neighbors, community leaders and the local papers is appropriate and appreciated.
Fairmount Minerals has 29 facilities, mostly located in the Midwest — three of these make up Wisconsin Industrial Sand Co. or WISC. Fairmount produces industrial sand for glass, foundries, construction materials, water filtration, oil and gas production and recreation. All of us use products made with industrial sand, every day.
The sand in this region is necessary for use in oil and gas wells. The development of domestic shale oil and gas is providing for the highest U.S. oil production in 23 years, natural gas prices dropping 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, and the lowest U.S. CO2 emissions in 20 years as power plants convert from coal to the cheaper natural gas.
The expansion of mining in the region creates impacts. Deciding how we deal with these impacts requires a serious conversation by open-minded people. We all need and use the products created by the resources that are mined.
Communities benefit from strong base industry — including mining, manufacturing and farming. These industrial activities can be and must be done safely, in an environmentally sustainable manner, and with negative impacts mitigated. While it is inappropriate to place mining, farming and manufacturing facilities in some locations, it is also inappropriate to say all of the resources we use should come from someone else’s backyard.
The employees of WISC are proud of the work they do contributing vital products to our markets, and we are proud that we do that work in a sustainable manner.
Himes is the plant manager for Fairmount Minerals in Hager City.