Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Unless We Act - Ellen Rockne Letter-to-Editor

Almost wherever I go lately, it's easy to overhear good and gritty conversations about sand. Open-pit frac sand mining has become pervasive in our neighboring western Wisconsin, where mining corporations quietly invaded before folks were fully aware of what was happening. The landscape has changed rapidly and drastically, and local citizens are scrambling for control over a situation that has gotten away from them. 

As the Wall Street Journal recently wrote, in the world of fracking, "Sand is the New Gold". Since the sand of the Driftless Region is the best possible kind for this use, and since corporations stand to make billions of dollars from taking it, you can count on this: they will come for our bluffs and hills unless we act. And when they are done with us, they will leave a barren landscape behind.

To make matters even worse, the process of opening these huge frac sand mine pits will also affect us in the following ways: deceased home values, higher taxes, damaged roads, increased risk of lung disease, polluted water, dried-up wells, damaged fishing, and decreased tourism revenues. We are fortunate that our Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to impose an 18-month moratorium on FS mining, in order to research these impacts on our lives and the environment. But time is running out. 

To learn more about this issue, and to support our Board of Supervisors in addressing this imminent threat to our future, please sign a petition to BAN FRAC SAND MINING in Winneshiek County, online --or when you see a person with a clipboard and a look of great determination. We must make it clear that the rights of we, the people who live here, are greater than those of the corporations that stand to make great profit at our expense. 

Ellen Rockne


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