Letter: Don't let words diminish fracking's negative impactWhen Mayor Egan took his turn to speak his piece at Monday night’s council meeting, it illustrated exactly my concern: that Dennis Egan is a mouthpiece for the frac sand industry.
By: Graham Ryan, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
When Mayor Egan took his turn to speak his piece at Monday night’s council meeting, it illustrated exactly my concern: that Dennis Egan is a mouthpiece for the frac sand industry.
But we will never hear Egan use the words “frac sand.” He will use the industry preferred term “industrial sand.” In the same way he will refer to the mining tailings and wastewater as “stormwater,” the same way he will refer to sand operations that have been purchased and expanded by private equity firms from the East Coast as “Minnesota folks."
It was mentioned that any conflict of interest could simply be a matter of perception. This is exactly the problem. Egan will choose the lexicon of the frac sand industry, specifically tailored to manage public perception and designed to downplay and misdirect the impact and aims of the frac sand industry. If we hear more from the mayor about how these mines are for sandpaper and fiber optics than they are for frac sand, why is the frac sand aspect being omitted from discussion?
If these industries have been in place for 250 years and are simply our neighbors’ small businesses, what is to be said for the exponential growth of silica mines and processing plants with 100 new operations in the region within the last four years.
I don't think the citizens that have voiced their opinions about this industry are concerned with the historic uses of industrial sand. It's the cumulative effect of the hundred or so of new operations, each drawing hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of water a day to process the silica in the midst of two years going on three of extreme drought. It’s the massive increase in overweight truck traffic on our distressed roadways and bridges. It’s the unregulated dust, and its many new variables not regulated or researched properly.
If Mayor Egan will consistently seek to diminish these impacts of this expanding industry when he addresses it, is Mayor Egan being honest?
If he is unable to call a spade a space, I sure hope the people of Red Wing are able to.