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Letter: We must close fracking loopholes

To the Editor:

Frac sand mining is a serious threat to Minnesota’s communities and ecosystems. It’s also part of a larger, extremely damaging industry across the country — hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for oil and natural gas.

Thanks to Environment Minnesota’s recent report (available online at, we now have the numbers to reveal fracking’s impact on our environment.

Fracking generated 280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater in 2012 alone. That’s enough fracking waste to flood all of Washington, D.C., in a 22-foot deep toxic lagoon.

Moreover, the numbers on fracking look equally appalling with respect to our health, our natural heritage and the planet: 450,000 tons of air pollution, 360,000 acres of land degraded and 100 million metric tons of global warming pollution have accumulated since 2005. And that’s just what could be measured with available data.

These facts on fracking add up to an environmental nightmare for not only the Midwest, but our entire nation.

The multiple concerns and dreadful impacts stated above give yet another reason why Minnesotans should voice their opinions and fight against frac sand mining which is currently being proposed in southeastern Minnesota and already happening in much of western Wisconsin.

And nationwide, let’s keep fracking away from our national forests our national parks, and drinking water sources.

It’s beyond time to close the loopholes that make fracking exempt from key provisions of our nation’s environmental laws in order to truly keep us safe.

Abby Wedrickas

Red Wing

Abby Wedrickas is an Environment Minnesota intern.