The Frac Sand Insider Conference is being held in La Crosse, Wis., today and tomorrow, with a projected 300 to 400 industry representatives expected to attend.
Before the conference, the Alliance to Ban Frac Sand Mining and Address Climate Change, which the Land Stewardship Project belongs to, stated: “Banning frac sand mining is the goal of this Alliance. Prohibiting it by law is the best and most direct means to end the threat imposed on us by the frac sand mining industry. No longer are we going to accept ineffective government regulation of this destructive land use We call on our local officials to protect us from this highly destructive industry by banning frac sand mining. We want our government officials to pass ordinances against frac sand mining. It’s just that simple.”
The Alliance, co-organized by LSP organizer Doug Nopar, has scheduled a rally at the site of the Frac Sand Insider Conference this afternoon.
LSP’s Lynnea Pfohl gave the following statement during an Alliance press conference held yesterday in La Crosse. Pfohl was one of 14 speakers representing 20 different regional groups, which banded together in advance of this industry conference.
“My name is Lynnea Pfohl. I am a member of the Land Stewardship Project, which endorses and supports the goal of the Alliance—to ban frac sand mining and address climate change.
“My husband and I live in rural Winona and have three small children. We cherish our lifestyle of growing our own produce, keeping animals for milk, meat and eggs, and hunting, fishing and foraging.
“I hope that as adults, my children will have these same opportunities, and that their children will, too. But in order for this to happen, we MUST have a new energy policy that truly accounts for the changing climate.
“In Winona County, LSP is in the middle of a fight to ban new frac sand operations, and we’re optimistic. We have done extensive research, and we KNOW that regulations do not work in practice. Our report, “Breaking the Rules for Profit: An Analysis of the Frac Sand Industry’s Violations of State Regulations and Manipulation of Local Governments in Wisconsin,” provides details showing that over half of the frac sand companies operating in Wisconsin have seriously violated DNR regulations, manipulated local governments, or engaged in influence peddling and conflicts of interest.
“We also KNOW that a ban on frac sand mining is totally legal! Another report, “Legal and Practical Considerations in Support of a Zoning Ban on Frac Sand Operations in Winona County: A Review of Minnesota Statutes, Case Law, and County Policy,” is the result of an in-depth, months-long legal analysis, and concludes that a zoning ordinance ban will not only be presumed legal by courts, but would also be easier for a county to defend than a permit denial through regulations.
“My family and our community rely on local farmers, forests, and waterways for food. We rely on karst topography to filter our drinking water. We rely on our governments and public officials to serve the people, and the land and water that can sustain us into the future, if we keep THOSE needs in mind. We DO NOT rely on the frac sand industry.
“Clean, renewable energy, and a productive, replenishing environment MUST be the way forward.”