Citizens Shut Out of Frac Sand Hearing at State Capitol

The Minnesota House of Representatives Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee has scheduled an informational hearing on the frac sand industry for Tuesday, January 27. Representatives of the frac sand industry will be first to testify, followed by state agencies. No time is set aside for citizens to testify.

Rural Minnesotans throughout southeastern Minnesota and the Minnesota River Valley have made it clear that they are deeply concerned about this issue and want their voices heard. Below is a letter from the Land Stewardship Project to the chair of the committee, Representative Tom Hackbarth, requesting he re-schedule the meeting and give equal time to hear from the public.

Take action! Let these members of this committee know shutting out citizen voices is unacceptable.

1. Plan to attend the hearing scheduled on Tuesday, January 27. We will meet at 2:00 p.m. in the cafeteria in the basement of the State Office Building (next to the State Capitol, at 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul). The hearing is scheduled from 2:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m. in Room 10 of the State Office Building. Please RSVP to LSP's Johanna Rupprecht (507-523-3366 or jrupprecht@landstewardshipproject.org) if you plan to attend, so that you can be notified if the hearing time or location changes (and if you are interested in carpool arrangements). If you do plan to attend, remember that there is extensive construction going on at the State Capitol and give yourself extra time to find parking. Parking information is here.

2. Contact the members of the committee, listed below.

Suggested message: “I’m calling you because you are a member of the Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee. Your committee has scheduled a hearing on frac sand on Tuesday where testimony will be taken from representatives of the frac sand industry, but not from the public. That’s wrong. A hearing that shuts out the voices of rural Minnesotans while giving time to corporate lobbyists is undemocratic and unfair. You need to hear from the people in my community and others like us who are the ones facing the consequences of frac sand development. I want this hearing rescheduled and citizens given equal time.”

• Rep. Tom Hackbarth, Chair (R-Cedar) at 651-296-2439 or rep.tom.hackbarth@house.mn

• Rep. Dale Lueck (R-Aitkin) at 651-296-2365 or rep.dale.lueck@house.mn

• Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) at 651-296-2190 or rep.david.dill@house.mn

• Rep. Mark Anderson (R-Lake Shore) at 651-296-4293 or rep.mark.anderson@house.mn

• Rep. Tom Anzelc (DFL-Balsam Township) at 651-296-4936 or rep.tom.anzelc@house.mn

• Rep. John (Jack) Considine (DFL-Mankato) at 651-296-3248 or rep.jack.considine@house.mn

• Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) at 651-296-4240 or rep.tony.cornish@house.mn

• Rep. Jerry Hertaus (R-Greenfield) at 651-296-9188 or rep.jerry.hertaus@house.mn

• Rep. Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) at 651-296-4346 or rep.brian.johnson@house.mn

• Rep. Debra Kiel (R-Crookston) at 651-296-5091 or rep.deb.kiel@house.mn

• Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) at 651-296-1534 or rep.eric.lucero@house.mn

• Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings) at 651-296-3135 or rep.denny.mcnamara@house.mn

• Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) at 651-296-0172 or rep.carly.melin@house.mn

• Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) at 651-296-0170 or rep.jason.metsa@house.mn

• Rep. Barb Yarusso (DFL-Shoreview) at 651-296-0141 or rep.barb.yarusso@house.mn

LSP letter to Rep. Hackbarth:

Representative Hackbarth, Chair
Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

January 23, 2015

Dear Representative Hackbarth:

The Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee has an informational hearing on the frac sand industry scheduled for Tuesday, January 27. It is clear from the meeting announcement that representatives of the frac sand industry will be given ample time to testify while no time at all is scheduled for citizens. Rural Minnesotans throughout southeast Minnesota and the Minnesota River Valley have made it clear that they are deeply concerned about this issue and want their voices heard. A hearing that shuts out the voices of these rural Minnesotans while giving time to industry lobbyists is undemocratic and unfair.

Therefore, we request that Tuesday’s hearing be re-scheduled for a future date, at which time the speaking time provided to citizens will be at least equal to that provided to corporate interests. If the January 27 hearing does take place, we request you hold a second hearing devoted to citizen testimony with sufficient advance notice for rural Minnesotans to participate.

Sincerely,

Johanna Rupprecht
Policy Organizer
Land Stewardship Project
Lewiston, MN
507-523-3366

Margaret Walsh
LSP Member
Winona, MN

Bonita Underbakke
LSP Member
Lanesboro, MN

Marilyn Frauenkron Bayer
LSP Member
Houston, MN

cc: Rep. Kurt Daudt, Speaker of the House; Members of the Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee