July 26, 2012

This week, Senator John Howe, Republican, from Red Wing called for an environmental impact study regarding the frac-sand mines.  Instigated by witnessing the negative impact of what is happening on the Wisconsin side of the river, this is a powerful enough problem, to get Republican attention and bring them on board to protect the environment. 

Howe is emphasizing the economic impact on existing businesses and schools in Minnesota towns along the river; but I suggest we expand the impact study to include the Mississippi River itself.

We already know Lake Pepin is endangered by the run-off upriver and is not-so-slowly contracting; we already know the dead spot in the Gulf of Mexico  continues to grow; helped along by poisonous run offs from Minnesota farmlands.  Let’s not leave it to future generations to lament the further demise of the river and the growth of the dead spot – because we raced to incorporate a last-ditch effort via frac sand mines to maintain our dependency on oil deposits.  Especially when we see the auto industry moving more and move to hybrid and electric vehicles.

What will the impact be?  Can it be reduced in any way by understanding now and employing better methods?  And more important, are all the states bordering the Mississippi from Minnesota to Louisiana in agreement  that any potential long term damage to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico is offset by the short term gains upriver? 

This is a chance to THINK COLLABORATIVELY AND ACT RESPONSIBLY.  Please take the time needed to ensure we know the risks and what will be gained for taking them!


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