COMMONALITIES between taconite and fracking?

February 24, 2013

Let’s learn from Hibbing.  “Short” term resource and financial gains from taconite led to severe environmental shortfalls….lowering of the water table; draining the aquifer; dried up water sources; and escalating expenses to route water to Hibbing from further away….which is probably upsetting the balance of that aquifer as well- which we will only learn sometime in the future when it is too late.

Now “fracking” is the “new” early 21st century resource and financial gains issue…also impacting water availability in other parts of our state.

It is not a simple “SAY NO” solution of course.

If benefits are proven to outweigh risks, then we must implement process/regulations that monitor and minimize those risks that lead to non-reversible consequences.  To agree to that may be more effective in slowing down or stopping this process than all the discussions on both sides thus far.

If the cost to ensure other non-replaceable natural resources is high; fracking “quick profits” most likely will decrease and perhaps the process will not be deemed quite so lucrative!

We can only hope that if that happened, we could REDIRECT current energies of both those benefitting from and those suffering from fracking towards a win/win for both-most likely with a focus on renewable resources.

Of course I am leery of that happening as short term business gains and short term employment opportunities are the political mantra of the Republicans…but when the money stops flowing, I am fearful they simply move on to the next potential quick pay-back-never taking responsibility for environmental issues; never thinking twice about limited resources pushing to work together for equitable solutions; no, when the money stops flowing into their coffers, they seem to merely move on  leaving the mess for the next in line to fix.

An emerging example is our very own White Bear Lake situation.

It is a fact that it would take annual rainfall FOUR inches above the norm just to maintain lake levels and resident use demands of those that ring the lake.  Green lawns, swimming pools and lush golf courses abound in this affluent community settled on the lakeshore. Unfortunately, they have over-reached-  and now in a time of drought , have more quickly than expected been exposed to a shrinking lake.  Their docks no longer reach the water’s edge.  And to whom do they turn?  They are suing the DNR contending it’s all the government’s fault for not regulating them better.  Go figure.


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