Letter: Don't sit this one out: Stop frackingRob Meyer (R-E, Nov. 17) brings solid and meaningful commentary to the subject of silica sand mining.
By: Richard W. Johnson, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Rob Meyer (R-E, Nov. 17) brings solid and meaningful commentary to the subject of silica sand mining.
The Mississippi River Valley is among the county’s the most scenic locations. The 19th century poet Henry David Thoreau said that if one desires to become a poet, you must first spend time on the banks of Lake Pepin. It is not a place to tear open the ground, dig huge open pits, expose the citizenry to silica sand dust, a carcinogen, and waste valuable water.
Sand mining takes huge quantities of fresh water, jeopardizing the underground water resource we need to sustain ourselves, livestock and crops. Water discarded after being used to clean sand has eroded the soil, fouled the streams and left mining areas looking like a battleground.
Our society is learning that fresh water may soon become a treasured and rare resource. We need to protect what we have and not allow a Texas oil company to waste it, foul it or enrich themselves obscenely with it.
The Minnesota Environmental Partnership recently issued a "report card," announcing that "Minnesotans have clean water to drink, but the state is consuming precious ground water at an unsustainable pace.”
Take a ride around Lake Pepin and visualize the bluff tops missing. There is a large mine just behind the lip of the bluff above Maiden Rock and mines threaten other environmentally sensitive locations.
Meyer reminds us that one speaker said "frac sanding" is inevitable because "we need it." In whose world do we need it?
The natural gas being taken from the earth in Williston N.D., and any oil or gas that goes through the new pipeline planned for Canada/New Orleans will be refined or, in the case of natural gas, liquefied and put on a tanker for China or India or anywhere else that OPEC, the international distributor, puts it.
I remind by those who lust after more and more oil or gas that the first lesson for someone lost at sea is to not drink the sea water, no matter how thirsty you are. Momentarily it will quench your thirst, but ultimately it will kill you.
We need to quit drinking the sea water. Certainly we need energy, but the renewable energy sources have not begun to be fully utilized. Oil production by other means is much less intrusive than fracking. It is the most environmentally harmful method of production available.
We do need a County Board to develop some backbone and pass an ordinance that says “Silica a sand mines are not permitted in Goodhue County” and mean it.
Carl Sagan, world renowned astronomer, once said, “Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.”
Richard W. Johnson