Monsanto has the power to get rid of any potential problems or perceived threats to their sustainability! They must be dismantled!
Monsanto has the power to get rid of any potential problems or perceived threats to their sustainability! They must be dismantled!
Boston, Boston Marathon Bombings, Civil Rights, Congress, Federal Government, Human Rights, intrusion, invasion, lawmakers, Legislation, Liberty, Racial profiling, security, Texas, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, United States, USA PATRIOT Act
Sadly, some politicians are already invoking the recent tragedy in Boston as reason to increase surveillance, reduce Americans’ due process rights, engage in racial profiling — and even to pass entirely unrelated cyber snooping legislation: Slate reports that “Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, cited the Boston bombings while arguing for CISPA to be adopted.”
Take Action Here To Stop CISPA and the invasion of our privacy: http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/boston_response/?akid=2130.2231289.iWMdac&rd=1&t=2
Posted by John Loeffler | Filed under Americans, Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon Bombings, Civil Rights, Congress, Corruption, D.C., Dirty Politics, Federal Government, Human Rights, Human Rights Violations, Intrusive, Invasion, Lawmakers, Legislation, Liberty, PATRIOT Act, Racial Profiling, Secrecy, Security, Texas, tyranny, U.S., U.S. Citizens, U.S. Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Uncategorized, Unconstitutional, United States, Unlawful
cancer-causing, Cancerous, corruption, environmental catastrophe, environmental disaster, fracking, Glacier Sands, Glacier Sands LLC, greed, hydraulic fracturing, Minnesota, money, Sand, Sand Fracking, Silica or Sand Fracking, Silicon dioxide, Silicosis, Texas, United States, Wisconsin
This is a trailer for an upcoming, must-see film!
It’s all about the money! Greed, greed and more greed! These companies moving in from down south, i.e. Texas, do not care about creating jobs, preserving our pristine environment, our highways and building infrastructures or cleaning up the aftermath of their massive mess! I have been to a Glacier Sands meeting (August 2012), and I can tell you with great certainty that this is all about the almighty dollar…period.
AFL-CIO, Arkansas, Barack Obama, bribery, Canada, cancer, Carcinogenic, chemicals, Colorado, construction, contamination, corporations, corruption, cracks, Crystalline Silica, Deadly, Death, Dirty Fossil Fuels, disease, Drilling, Drinking Water, dust, Encana, Encana Corp., environment, environmental catastrophe, environmental disaster, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, Eric Esswein, Esswein, experts, exposure, Federal Government, Federal Officials, fossil fuels, Frack Sand, fraud, gas industry, Glacier Sands LLC, greed, Hydraulic Fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking, Industry, Lethal, lung disease, machines, manufacturing, Mining, mining corporation, Minnesota, money, money laundering, nanoparticles, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, natural gas, North Dakota, Occupational safety and health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, oil, oil industry, particles, Peg Seminario, Pennsylvania, poisonous, Political corruption, power-hungry, protection, regulations, respirators, Safety, safety violations, samples, Sand, Sand Fracking, Seven Sands LLC, Shale, Silica, Silica or Sand Fracking, silica sand, Silicosis, Texas, theft, Tim Hicks, tiny, Toxic, transportation, trucks, U.S, United States, unregulated, unsafe., vacuum, water, Well Water, White House, White House Office of Management and Budget, Wisconsin, workers
When workplace safety expert Eric Esswein got a chance to see fracking in action not too long ago, what he noticed was all the dust.
It was coming off big machines used to haul around huge loads of sand. The sand is a critical part of the hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction. After workers drill down into rock, they create fractures in that rock by pumping in a mixture of water, chemicals and sand. The sand keeps the cracks propped open so that oil and gas are released.
But sand is basically silica — and breathing in silica is one of the oldest known workplace dangers. Inside the lungs, exposure to the tiny particles has been shown to sometimes lead to serious diseases like silicosis and cancer.
Traditionally, silica exposure has been associated with jobs like mining, manufacturing and construction. But, as Esswein, a researcher with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and other safety experts have started to realize, some workers in the newly burgeoning fracking industry may be at risk, too, because of their exposure to silica dust.
“When sand was handled — that is, when it was transported by machines on site, or whenever these machines that move sand were refilled — dust, visible dust was created,” Esswein says.
He was visiting fracking sites because he wanted to study the potential chemical hazards for oil and gas workers, and he initially figured he and his colleagues would probably assess workers’ exposures to chemicals like drilling fluids. But when he saw the plumes of dust coming off the sand-handling machines and surrounding workers, he realized it could be a real hazard. The government has long set limits on how much workers can inhale.
“Knowing what I know about silica and respirable dust, that was the particular chemical that we chose to look at,” Esswein says.
He and his colleagues visited 11 fracking sites in five states: Arkansas, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas. At every site, the researchers found high levels of silica in the air. It turned out that 79 percent of the collected samples exceeded the recommended exposure limit set by Esswein’s agency.
There were some controls in place, says Esswein, who notes that “at every site that we went to, workers wore respirators.”
But about one-third of the air samples they collected had such high levels of silica, the type of respirators typically worn wouldn’t offer enough protection.
These unexpected findings have come just as federal safety officials are trying to set stricter controls on silica for all industries. Some proposed new rules have been under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget for more than two years.
Peg Seminario, director of safety and health with the AFL-CIO, a group of unions that has been pushing for stronger silica regulation, says the situation with fracking is a wake-up call.
“Hopefully it will give some impetus for the need for the silica regulation — that there is a whole other population at risk and those numbers are potentially growing,” says Seminario.
Workplace inspectors with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wouldn’t have been aware of this potential risk for fracking workers before this recent study because, unless they receive a complaint or there’s an accident, they generally don’t see the process of hydraulic fracturing. That part of setting up a well happens quickly — and once a well is up and running, contractors move on to the next one.
Government officials and the fracking industry say they’re now working together to reduce workers’ exposures. They started with quick fixes, like putting up warning signs and simply closing hatches on sand-moving machines.
Some oil and gas companies are also testing new technologies. Tim Hicks, a safety expert with Encana Corp., says they’ve been trying vacuum systems that attach to sand-moving machines and suck up the dust.
The results so far are encouraging, Hicks says, but his company is still testing to see how much of a reduction in airborne silica is reasonably achievable.
“We’d like to envision a site that, you know, we could handle sand and sequester it all, and perhaps someday not need to use respirators,” says Hicks.
He says he’s not sure whether that goal is possible, or how long it would take to get to that point. “But I can say that at the rate we’re going,” Hicks says, “we’re much more likely to hit that [target] than we were prior to this issue being recognized.”
Hicks says he has only been working in this part of the oil and gas business for a few years and couldn’t speculate as to why the industry didn’t recognize this potential health risk earlier. People, he says, seemed to think the dust was basically just dirt.
aquifer, Athabasca oil sands, Authors, Barack Obama, Big Oil, Canada, Canadian, China, Conflict, consequences, construction, corporations, cover-up, coverup, crude oil, Dirty Fossil Fuels, environment, environmental catastrophe, environmental disaster, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, fossil fuels, greed, Gulf of Mexico, hidden, Interest, Keystone Pipeline, Keystone XL, Keystone XL Pipeline, Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Leaks, mega-corporation, Mining, money, Mother Jones Magazine, oil industry, pollution, power, power-hungry, President, Public, Public Awareness, public health hazards, review, Shell Oil, shipping, special interests, State Department, Tar Sands, Tar Sands Pipelines, Texas, Toxic, TransCanada, TransCanada Corporation, truth, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, U.S. State Department, United States Department of State, water pollution
Mother Jones Magazine has uncovered a new twist in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. As it turns out the authors who drafted the environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline worked for TransCanada, Koch Industries, Shell Oil, and other oil corporations that stand to benefit from building the Keystone XL. Not only did the State Department know about these conflicts of interest, they redacted this information from public filings in (a) attempt to conceal the truth.
In order to build the pipeline, Transcanada, the company who proposed Keystone XL, must get the OK from the State Department. The State Department bases its decision on whether or not to approve the pipeline on an environmental review, conducted by a third party group overseen by the State Department and paid for by Transcanada.
*Please click the following link for more important information on this:
John Loeffler – Fountain City, Wisconsin
breaking, Brian Iverson, cancer, cancer-causing, Cancerous, carcinogen, Carcinogenic, Clean Air Act, Clean Energy Act, Clean Water Act, criminal, Crystalline Silica, environmental, environmental disaster, Frack Sand, fracking, fraud, fraudulent, Glacier Sands LLC, greed, greedy, Horizontal Fracking, Hydraulic Fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Ike Thomas, known carcinogens, law, Minnesota, Mississippi River, money, Monopolies, monopoly, poison, poisonous, power, power-hungry, Ryan Thomas, Sand, Sand Fracking, Seven Sands LLC, Silica, Silica or Sand Fracking, Silicosis, Snake, snakes, Texas, Toxic, Toxic Chemicals, violations, Wisconsin
Is that not a pretty picture? It is what happens to our land when we rely on finite sources of dirty fossil fuel energy. Say goodbye to the trees, the animals, and a clean environment! The picture is not of a Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking site. It is a picture of the lesser known Sand Fracking that goes on to supply the needed Silica sand for the extremely toxic Hydraulic Fracking process of which there are now 65,000 wells and counting throughout the U.S.
The premium sand that is ideal for Hydraulic Fracturing or Horizontal Fracturing has been found by businessmen, mainly from Texas, and the high quality sand is in Wisconsin and Minnesota! A little-known company called Glacier Sands LLC a.k.a. Seven Sands LLC is responsible for this “gold rush” in the Sand Fracking industry. Their webpage looks innocent, but looks can be deceiving!
Speaking of deception, welcome to Glacier Sands LLC’s Leadership: http://glaciersands.com/about-glacier-sands/leadership/
Let’s break down three key people in their leadership: Brian Iverson, Ryan Thomas and Ike Thomas. Brian Iverson drew the attention of Texas businessmen Ike and Ryan Thomas, and he formally set up Glacier Sands LLC a.k.a. Seven Sands LLC in 2011 using a Wisconsin address although he lived in Minnesota. Brian Iverson has not only been accused of investment fraud related to a group of mining investors from Montana, but he also filed bankruptcy a little over two years ago to cover over $21 million of debt he accrued related to former business deals “and personal guaranties he gave as security for business loans.” Source: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2012/07/09/frac-sand-or-farmland-wisconsin-farmers-face-showdown-rescheduled-august-9
Boy, this Brian Iverson guy sounds like bad news! He’s shady at best, and he has hooked up with two Texas businessmen since 2011 to completely destroy (see picture above) Wisconsin and Minnesota’s pristine environment by slithering in like a snake to slowly poison innocent citizens who have lived here for generations. What for? GREED, of course! Brian Iverson needed help to become financially successful, because he has a dirty past of screwing people over, then filing bankruptcy for his losses! Iverson is the epitome of selfishness! He obviously does not care about people in general or his workers, since I am sure he is aware of the dangers of Silicosis and cancer.
Sand Fracking for Crystalline Silica is known to cause Silicosis and cancer. Source: OSHA: http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/crystalline-factsheet.pdf The Silica sand from Sand Fracking can blow for miles if not continually watered down according to lame government standards. At best, the Crystalline Silica produced from Sand Fracking to use in Hydraulic Fracking will only affect nearby areas to include the Mississippi River. That is bad enough if you live in a state where Sand Fracking sites are popping up faster than they can be properly studied for health risks before approval! Without proper studies on the harmful effects and affects of fracking, county boards like Buffalo County, WI just delay the permit for Sand Fracking until all of the ‘angry citizen’ dust has settled. Then, they go in and vote 3-0 in favor of what nobody wants except for the dirty fossil fuel industry and big business like Glacier Sands LLC! I wonder how many board members and other officials get paid to pass legislation for mining that is NOT wanted by a vast majority of U.S. citizens in general? Probably more than one can possibly imagine! Brian Iverson had help from Ike and Ryan Thomas though. Anything coming out of the most polluted state (Texas) in the U.S. for over a decade and running cannot be good!
Ike Thomas’s Linked in profile suggests a man with deep roots in dirty energy and big business: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=135550272&authType=name&authToken=3tMX&locale=en_US&goback=%2Enpv_135550272_*1_*1_name_3tMX_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1 He has a company called JusRyn (President since 1980) that is not only hard to find (a red flag), but when you do find Ike’s company it’s listed in the white or yellow pages! This seems a bit fishy to me, but what do you expect from a Texas businessman? What about Ryan Thomas? His Linked in profile says it all including bragging about being a Frack Sand supplier! He has similar business roots like Ike Thomas with dirty mining and dirty energy leading the way: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ryan-thomas/18/592/664.
Is this what our country wants? A monkey barrel of bullies overrunning our local governments to feed their lust for money and power? Apparently so, because I do not see anyone standing up en masse to protest fraudulent businessmen. Businessmen who sucker farmers or anyone else with many acres of land via a greed-laden but small payout for ruining not only the farmer’s or individual’s land, but the land, water, complete infrastructure to include roads and buildings of towns and cities, and health of humans and animals!
Do you think that Glacier Sands or any other “Fracking” business is going to pay for human health problems which show up years or decades later, or the contamination of our land and water in general? They will be long gone by the time we catch up to the mess they have left behind! Taxpayers, as usual, will be stuck cleaning up dirty mining’s mess due to lack of current concern or ability to do much of anything to stop the Sand Fracking nightmare that consumes Wisconsin and Minnesota! It’s such a shame too, because if you can stop the Sand Fracking from happening then you can halt the even more dangerous Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking that uses Crystalline Silica in large quantities. Fracking, like Glacier Sands is doing, has already turned America’s landscape from this
By John Loeffler – Fountain City, Wisconsin
Glacier Sands: http://glaciersands.com/about-glacier-sands/leadership/
Twin Cities Daily Planet: Frac Sand or Farmland: Wisconsin farmers face showdown http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2012/07/09/frac-sand-or-farmland-wisconsin-farmers-face-showdown-rescheduled-august-9
America, Animals, Carcinogenic, chemicals, cover-up, cover-ups, diesel, Drinking Water, earth, Economy, environment, failure, fracking, fraud, gas, global, Humans, hydraulic fracturing, Infrastructure, Jobs, natural gas, panic, poisoning, poisonous, pollutants, Poor, Public, Rivers, Sand Fracking, secret, technology, Texas, U.S., U.S. Government, United States, Wisconsin
This article was published in collaboration with GlobalPossibilities.org.
What comes to mind when you think of fracking? Perhaps it’s images of tap water being lit on fire or stories of families suffering health problems after nearby wells are fracked. Indeed, the health andenvironmental impactsof fracking are being documented, but it’s important to know that fracking is a catalyst for widespread negative consequences. This list includes five effects of fracking you may not have heard about.
1. Methane Geysers
This past June, a methane geyser was found in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County. Yes, a geyser — shooting methane-infused water 30 feet up in the air.
Once the geyser was discovered, the county immediately turned to Shell, which was drilling in three nearby locations. Shell and the Department of Environmental Protection began investigating, and it was correctly suspected that an abandoned well from the 1930s contributed to the problem. Last week, a new report confirmed that Butters well, drilled in 1932, was part of the chain reaction that triggered the geyser. But the main problem was Shell’s fracking, as it displaced methane pockets underground, which then moved into Butters well and shot up to the surface.
Improperly abandoned wells, like Butters well, are hard to uncover, as they were drilled long before permits were required or any kind of records were kept. With as many as 300,000 wells drilled in Pennsylvania over the past 150 years, it’s unknown how many abandoned wells there may be that could be dangerous. For example, the DEP informed Shell of Butters well, but there was no information on whether or not it had been plugged. Meanwhile, regulators don’t requiredrilling companies to search for, inspect and plug abandon wells.
Though abandoned wells provide an easy pathway for methane to reach the earth’s surface, once displaced by fracking, the harmful gas can also make its way upward through cracks in the ground. Methane is an odorless, flammable gas that can cause breathing problems at high concentrations and is more than 20 times more effective in trapping heat and contributing to global warming than carbon dioxide.
2. Stolen Land
What happens if you’re a land owner who lives on a profitable mineral site, but doesn’t want corporations fracking on your land? Well, apparently, they will maneuver a way to frack your land anyway.
In a new report published last week, Reuters explored oil and gas companies’ nationwide land grab. The report focused on Chesapeake Energy Corporation, which has become the leader in petitioning state agencies when land owners refuse to sign over their land to fracking or oil drilling companies. In Texas, since 2005, Chesapeake had made 1,628 requests to drill on land that owners refuse to lease— nearly twice as many sought by its rival Exxon Mobil — and the state has only rejected five of them.
Chesapeake has made land-leasing one of its top priorities, controlling 15 million acres and spending more than $31 billion to acquire drilling rights. Playing the land grab game allows corporations to attain prospective drilling locations while locking out competition. With such a profitable opportunity, Chesapeake is making sure it’s getting its way by any means necessary. One employee was even caught saying on tape: “If properties don’t want to sign, if we have 90 percent secured of the well that we need, we have the power to put these people in the lease without their permission. …We can do whatever we want.”
When it comes to profit, property rights just don’t seem to matter. And a mix of money in politics, as well as a desire for profit, has weakened regulation.
“I don’t think the state should be able to take a landowner’s rights to generate a profit for a private company,” said David Conrad, an Ohio resident who opposes fracking, but will soon have a Chesapeake well under his home.
However, as Reuters reported:
In its petition, Chesapeake told regulators its proposed drilling unit could produce 4.5 million barrels of oil and 3.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas — if the plots of the 49 land owners who didn’t lease their property to Chesapeake were included.
If not, Chesapeake said, the unit would be 75 percent less productive and would miss out on an additional $71 million in revenue, according to its application. That math carried the day.
3. Waste-Filled Wine
If you don’t hate fracking already, what if you learned that it can affect wine? Furious? Me too.
Vineyard owners in California are growing increasingly wary of fracking as gas companies begin preliminary operations. Venoco has started exploring Monterey Shale for both oil and gas drilling. Last year, the company filed an application for drilling permits in Monterey County, according to Simon Salinas, a member of the county’s Board of Supervisors, and it already holds hundreds of thousands of acres in the formation, has drilled more than 20 wells and has invested $100 million in oil exploration.
With vineyards and farmlands covering 200,000 acres of Monterey that help make up an $8 billion agricultural business, Salinas told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Anything that can taint our water and food supply could be devastating to our economy.”
Paula Getzelman, a grape-grower in Monterey, said, “If you don’t have a good water supply, your land is worthless.”
Besides fears of contaminated water, Salinas also mentioned that when residents realize the fracking process uses millions of gallons of water that they need for their crops, they will be quite upset.
But even if these threats don’t come to fruition, residents are still concerned that fracking will have a negative effect on their marketability. After all, with cities like Napa and Sonoma not too far away, who’s going to want Monterey’s fracking wine?
Across the country, in Brooklyn, NY, a winery with similar fears about fracking in the Marcellus shale, recently hosted an anti-fracking benefit.
The winery stated on its Web site:
The potential for fracking affects Brooklyn Winery, as we source grapes for our wine from a number of vineyards in New York state and many of our wine bar’s seasonal menu items include ingredients grown on upstate farms.
4. Dairy Cows At Risk
Got milk? Maybe not for long. According to research from Penn State University, fracking has been found to reduce dairy production.
The university researchers set out to uncover how fracking in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region is affecting dairy farming, the state’s top agricultural sector. The researchers examined dairy cow numbers, milk production and fracking activity among various counties in Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2010. They found that counties with 150 or more Marcellus Shale wells saw a 19 percent decrease in dairy cows, while counties with no wells saw only a 1.2 percent decrease. In a similar fashion, milk production in these counties with 150 or more wells declined by an average of 18.5 percent, while counties with no wells had about a 1 percent decline.
This research seems to challenge the popular narrative that farmers use the money they receive from fracking companies through leasing their land to improve their farms. The researchers note that additional research is needed to figure out the exact cause of the decrease of dairy production. One researcher wondered whether farmers were taking the money they received from their leases and going into a new occupation, or if they are being forced out of farming due to fracking’s environmental effects or a decrease in their farm’s marketability.
5. Contaminated Food, Stillborn Calves and Poisoned Animals
Imagine fracking fluid seeping out of your next burger — not appetizing? It may be a reality as more and more livestock are raised near fracking sites. Hundreds of animals have already been affected after coming into contact with fracking fluid. Last year, 28 beef cattle in Pennsylvania were exposed to the fluid. Only three of the 11 calves these cattle gave birth to survived. In Louisiana a few years ago, 16 cows dropped dead after drinking fracking fluid.
As New York Governor Cuomo soon decides whether or not to frack in the state’s economically struggling areas, Rita Yelda of Food & Water Watch recently wrote a commentary urging him to consider fracking’s detrimental effects on food.
New York is a national leader in a variety of agricultural products, and about 25 percent of the state’s land area is used for food production. This space may end up being shared with thousands of air polluting drill rigs, and could also be affected by soil contamination from leaks, flares, explosions, fires and experimental waste disposal methods.
Definitely doesn’t sound delicious.
Alyssa Figueroa is an editorial fellow at AlterNet. She is a recent Ithaca College graduate who double-majored in journalism and politics. Follow her on Twitter@alyssa_fig.
America, Carcinogenic, chemicals, cover-up, cover-ups, diesel, Drinking Water, earth, Economy, environment, failure, fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Infrastructure, Jobs, natural gas, poisoning, poisonous, pollutants, Poor, Public, Rivers, Sand Fracking, secret, technology, Texas, Toxic, U.S., U.S. Government, United States, Wisconsin
Friday, October 12, 2012
By Thomas W. Pearson, University of Wisconsin-Stout
A controversial issue such as frac sand mining is commonly seen as something “under debate,” with at least two sides facing off and the truth lying somewhere in the middle. However, the two sides often talk past each other. In fact, I would even go so far as to suggest that at least two very different conversations are taking place (if not more). Each conversation represents a unique set of taken-for-granted assumptions and values, a conceptual or normative “framework” through which people view the world.
One such normative framework was on display at the Conference on Silica Sand Resources of Minnesota and Wisconsin. I’ll call this framework, which is represented by the frac sand industry and its supporters, the resource exploitation framework. Held October 1-3 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Park, MN, the conference was organized by the Precambrian Research Center of the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, and sponsored by dozens of private corporations that operate in the mining and energy sectors. The first evening featured a keynote presentation by a retired ConocoPhillips executive, and a series of technical sessions were held the second day, attended by several hundred people. The third day was a regional tour of silica sand deposits, active mines, and other infrastructure. I attended the technical sessions on Day 2.
The citizen-deficit frame
One of the most widely held but unstated framing devices used by the frac sand industry is the “citizen-deficit” frame, which shapes how industry deals with public officials and local communities. Most speakers simply assumed that concerned citizens lack accurate information, that their concerns and opposition to frac sand mining stem from misunderstanding, fear, and lack of knowledge. It is assumed that if citizens had more information, they would support frac sand mining or at least not oppose it.
Most of the speakers took the citizen-deficit frame for granted, as part of “the nature of things,” but it was most clearly illustrated by a presentation delivered by a private consulting company. The Consultant (as I’ll call the speaker) has a background in geology, but was asked to give a presentation about the economic aspects of frac sand mining. He began by emphasizing the extensive research he did to prepare for his presentation, suggesting he sought out hard data about the economic costs and benefits of sand mining. The Consultant concluded that the “economic benefits are pretty huge,” including such things as jobs and the “pretty obvious” tax revenues. He stated that these benefits are “quantifiable” and “verifiable,” yet he didn’t bother to cite any data or sources to support his claims. He didn’t even try. And this is a key aspect of how conceptual framing devices operate: the accuracy of the frame is not the issue, the issue is what meanings are carried by the frame and how the frame sets parameters around what is discussed, by whom, and with what consequences.
Making no effort to hide his disdain for critics of mining, The Consultant then asserted that claims about negative economic impacts are “estimated” and “assumed.” “There’s no proof, it’s all allegations,” he stated. He flatly asserted that “there is no data” on the negative economic impacts. He then went on to say that the biggest cost he has identified stems from local moratoriums and restrictions on mining. “People are shooting themselves in the foot,” he said, they are turning down jobs, taxes, and economic benefits. “These people,” said The Consultant, as if talking about some foreign Other, drawing lines between us and them, “are moved by emotions and fear,” and “their sources of information are social media,” “where misinformation dominates.” “What drives them is not clear,” he stated. They succumb to “Not In My Backyard, or NIMBY, syndrome,” and “feed off of fear mongering, as if miners are boiling kittens in hot oil.” His comments were gleefully received by most of the audience, who applauded enthusiastically at his unfounded assertions.
Most, if not all, of what The Consultant said was untrue. But the point is not the accuracy of his comments, rather how he sought to frame the issues and the people involved. The citizen-deficit framework begins with the assumption that the public is lacking adequate information and simply incapable of understanding “technical” or “specialized” issues related to mining. This framework does not even allow for viewing citizens, communities, and the public on equal terms with so-called “industry experts.” It casts citizens and opponents as misinformed and motivated by emotion and fear (as opposed to reason and science, presumably represented by The Consultant and other industry experts). It also stigmatizes citizens as selfish and narrow-minded, helplessly overcome by a “NIMBY” affliction (as opposed to making a rational determination that it’s probably not good to have open-pit strip mining and associated industrial operations near your home or in your community).
Sadly, most speakers operated within this conceptual framework, suggesting a much larger pattern for how the frac sand industry relates to citizens, local communities, and the general public. From the standpoint of industry, citizens are not allowed a legitimate voice within this framework. Rather, it functions to close off discussion and debate before it can even get started. It is assumed that the questions raised by citizens are invalid, their concerns unfounded. The standpoint of “citizen” or “the public” is dismissed as lacking authority and legitimacy, and the focus of industry is to figure out ways to appease the “fears” of citizens, overcome local opposition, or navigate around regulations. Interaction with community members is simply a “public relations” or marketing issue.
It’s not at all surprising, then, that the conference organizers made no effort to include representatives of community groups.
“Can you imagine your life without silica sand?”
Other rhetorical strategies were deployed throughout the day to frame the conversation and close-off potential avenues of question and critique. Many of these frames revolved around the assertion that sand is an integral part of our society. I’ve come across these claims numerous times over the past several months, and many were mobilized during the conference as part of a promotional video produced by Fairmount Minerals (Wisconsin Industrial Sand), screened for us by a V.P. of marketing.
The flashy, sophisticated video portrayed happy middle-class families engaged in mundane activities, using everyday products that have some connection to sand. The theme of the video was “people, planet, prosperity.” Some of the key framing devices included:
These framing devices seek to insulate the current frac sand industry from critique. They do so by framing industrial frac sand mining as pervasive, inevitable, timeless, natural, even the linchpin of civilization. Why bother questioning or opposing such an activity? From this perspective, it seems contradictory to raise questions about frac sand mining, because we use so much sand. It’s also apparently treasonous, since to question sand is by implication to question civilization as we know it. Pretty serious stuff.
What these frames conveniently ignore is that people are not opposed to the mere existence or commercial use of silica sand. People are concerned about the rapid and haphazard growth of industrial mining activity, suddenly concentrated in a fairly small region of the country. The frac sand industry generates short-term wealth for a few people and for large, usually out-of-state corporations, while leaving the rest of us to worry about the consequences: destruction of existing landscapes, new environmental health problems related to silica dust and water quality, new safety hazards on our roads, and uncertain economic impacts.
But within the conceptual framework adopted by the frac sand industry, there is little if any opportunity to articulate these concerns. Such concerns are dismissed, stigmatized, and cast as irrational or unthinkable.
Disguising private interests
As has been widely noted by concerned citizens, the Conference on Silica Sand Resources was misleadingly promoted as a balanced effort to examine the various questions, concerns, and issues related to frac sand mining. The conference description even states that: “In the face of this rush to expand current operations and develop new mines, there is an urgent need among the public, media, government regulatory agencies, and energy and mineral resource industries for credible information about this industry. This conference seeks to answer many of the questions various stakeholders have raised about the development of this resource.”
One would assume that all of the actors listed — the public, media, government, and industry — would be represented at the conference. And indeed, there were a few speakers affiliated with other universities and state regulatory bodies. But a quick glance at the conference schedule reveals that the list of speakers is overwhelmingly dominated by private corporations and people interested in promoting frac sand mining. Non-industry speakers merely provided basic background information about regional geology and existing silica sand resources, or about the regulatory process at state, county, and local levels. No one representing community or citizen perspectives was included, nor were researchers who raise legitimate questions about social, economic, environmental, or health concerns. Yet the conference was portrayed as if “all concerns” and “all perspectives” had a seat at the table.
The conference sought to advance the interests of the mining industry, disguised as a “neutral,” “fact-based” endeavor. The conference webpage was hosted by the University of Minnesota-Duluth and prominently displays the logo of the Precambrian Research Center. On the surface, the conference drew on the aura of a public university and widely-held expectations about academic research (such as use of empirical evidence, consideration of multiple viewpoints, peer review, and prioritizing of the public interest, among other expectations). This was a shallow effort to lend the legitimacy associated with a public university to what was ultimately a private industry affair.
Concerned citizens sniffed this out early on, and organized a demonstration to protest the narrow focus of the conference and to raise awareness about their concerns. More than 50 protesters greeted attendees of the conference on the first night, chanting, displaying signs and banners, and scrawling messages in chalk on the sidewalk. Then, on the third day, a smaller group of protesters climbed on top of a bus that was to shuttle conference attendees on a regional silica sand tour. They delayed the tour by more than 90 minutes until police arrived, and unfurled a banner over the windshield of the bus that read “Our tragedy is not your tour.”
Community empowerment or corporate power?
Resource extraction industries such as frac sand mining have arrived in Wisconsin and Minnesota to exploit and profit from a natural resource currently in high demand for use in hydraulic fracturing, an equally questionable and controversial activity that has caused social and environmental turmoil in rural communities throughout other parts of the country. The Conference on Silica Sand Resources was largely an industry exercise to develop strategies for overcoming local democratic control over land use, natural resources, and community development.
Concerned citizens and critics of industrial frac sand mining are not motivated by fear or misunderstanding. By contrast, they are motivated by an acute realization that our region is undergoing a dramatic transformation, one that is potentially permanent and fundamentally unfair. Throughout the region, neighbors and community members are organizing, educating themselves, and pushing for transparency and informed decision-making. This the heart of local democracy, a process that we should work to enable and empower, not silence.
Bankruptcy, Brian Iverson, Buffalo County, Cancerous, Carcinogenic, corporations, corruption, Crystalline Silica, Dangerous, Deadly, destruction, environmental catastrophe, environmental disaster, farmers, fracking, fraud, Get-Rich-Quick Schemes, greed, hydraulic fracturing, Hydraulic Fracturing or Fracking, Ike Thomas, Lethal, Local Government, Minnesota, natural gas, Natural Gas Boom, poisonous, Ponzi Schemes, Ryan Thomas, Sand Fracking, scams, Silica or Sand Fracking, silica sand, Silicosis, Sneaky, State Government, Tax Dollars, taxpayers, Texas, Texas businessmen, U.S. citizens, Unemployment, United States, Wisconsin
Do you REALLY think that your two year degree,
so-called expertise on fracking, and desire to
become wealthy at the cost of taxpayers in WI
and MN is going to happen? I hope you have a
Academy Award-winning group of attorneys to assist
you in the controlled demolition and destruction
of one of the last pristine, non-drilling, non-
blasting areas left in the United States! Your
Texas team of Ike and Ryan Thomas better know their
fracking business, as they should, since Texas has
been destroyed by Sand and Hydraulic Fracturing or
Fracking! Is that not why they came up here? Texas
has the worst environmental record in the U.S.
•A 34 billion dollar budget deficit
•Texas Ranks #1 in population living below the poverty line ( 17.2 % ).
•Worst environmental record in the United States
•Ranks #1 in illiteracy
•Ranks # 1 on the poorest gun regulations in the US and highest per capita gun murder rates in the US
•Ranks #1 with the highest real estate taxes per $1,000 value of a home in the United States
•Ranks #1 in the lowest high school graduation rate
•Ranks #1 with the highest interest rates “pay day” companies can charge
•Ranks # 1 in those making below minimum wage
•Ranks 50th ( dead last ) in Teacher Pay
•Ranks # 1 (26.5%) who lack health insurance
•Ranks # 1 (20.3%) of children who lack health insurance
•Ranks # 1 in the highest per capita executions in the world
•Ranks # 50th in $ spent for Medicaid for the poor and children
•Ranks 50th ( dead last ) in $ spent on its citizens
•Ranks # 1 in the # of food insecure children.
•Ranks 49th ( the 2nd lowest ) in Medicaid $ given to nursing homes
•Ranks 2nd highest in teen births
•Ranks #2 with the highest home insurance rates
•Ranks #2 with the highest sales tax
•Ranks 49th in $ funded for the mentally ill
•Ranks #1 with the highest overall pollution rate
•Ranks #1 in adults under correctional control
•Ranks #1 in adults under probation
Oh yeah, the vaunted job creation in TX is because of the gas/oil boom there…….
Texas wants to secede from our own country, and you
do business with traitors?
Brian Iverson has been accused of securities fraud and self-dealing by a group of investors associated with two other mining start-ups in Montana. [See text of Montana complaint in Appendix D.] Less than two years ago, Iverson filed for bankruptcy to relieve more than $21 million in debt stemming from past business ventures and personal guaranties he gave as security for business loans.
And what’s with the payoffs to farmers to ruin their land with the promise of “Sand = Jobs?”
I was at the August 9th Buffalo County Board of Adjustments Meeting, and you must have shelled
out some chump change to convince the morons with your brand new Glacier Sands LLC bright, neon
green shirts with “Sands = Jobs” on the back of them to believe the shit that’s coming out of
your mouth regarding the creation of NON-PERMANENT jobs that you stated would be about 42 for
the Glacier Sands LLC Sand Fracking disaster! Another 46 for truck driving, but you admitted
that those jobs would go to the most qualified drivers, most likely your drivers parked outside
our border waiting to rumble in and crumble the area’s infrastructure!
Speaking of infrastructure…you never did address my concerns with Glacier Sands LLC/Seven
Sands LLC, and all of your other scheming sand fracking business ventures as far as YOU, Ike
& Ryan Thomas cleaning up all the damage done to roads from hauling tons of sand in dump trucks
from Buffalo County, WI to whichever county will accept your waste. Winona, MN already said “NO!”
What about the infrastructure damage to residences and businesses that will find structural damages
in the form of foundation, wall, ceiling, floor, and other cracks or forms of destruction directly
related to the very heavy toll the buildings will endure from endless rumbling vibrations of trucks
running up and down various roads while you are “fracking around” here? Are you THAT ignorant where
you do not know of a little thing called “Class-Action Lawsuits?” YOU will have to reimburse every
property for damage done…NOT the taxpayers! I know that it would take away the millions of dollars
you, Ike and Ryan Thomas of Texas, have worked so diligently for in the form of cheap payoffs to
your “sugar-coated” farmers, i.e. Glacier Sands LLC, who were dumb enough to buy into your get-rich-quick
Last, but certainly not least, you should be ashamed of the lack of conscience you have regarding
defrauding innocent people for the purpose of gaining wealth and power (two of society’s worst
traits)! With all of these negative articles floating around about the dangers of Silica or Sand
Fracking, I would think you would know better than to try to sneak under the radar of our pathetic
legal system, starting with Dell Twidt, Buffalo Co., WI Temporary Supervisor, the Board of Adjustments,
and any other negligent politicians who do NOT represent the best interests of our area. Ever hear
of a moratorium? I bet you have!
Do you think that moratoriums only exist to fight terrible events like ANY form of fracking?
Nope. Moratoriums can permanently shut down “junk” operations, and they can lead to referendums
like a state-wide ban on all forms of fracking, and getting rid of people and entire boards who do
NOT represent the best interests and safety of its citizens! You might want to rethink who you are
“Fracking Around With in Wisconsin and Minnesota!”
Fountain City, WI
P.s. Go ahead and “Google” me, or try to find a criminal record of any kind on the WI Circuit Court Access System. Unlike you, I have a clean conscience and no record (i.e. fraudulent practices)!
Animals, Aubrey McClendon, cancer-causing, Carcinogenic, chemicals, cover-up, deception, Drilling, early days, environment, environmental catastrophe, EPA, fracking, fraud, gas boom, Groundwater Contamination, health hazards, Humans, hydraulic fracturing, illegal dumping, natural gas, New York Times, poisonous, pollutants, Rolling Stone, Sand Fracking, States, Texas, U.S. Government, Virginia, Water Well Contamination, widespread damage, Wisconsin
Here are some damning articles about Fracking:
Officials in Three States Pin Water Woes on Gas Drilling
EPA Finds Fracking Compound in Wyoming Aquifer
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds fracking compounds in
environmental monitoring wells
A Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More
False Promises and Hidden Costs: The Illusion of Economic Benefits from Fracking
The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind Aubrey McClendon’s Gas Boom
It’s not only toxic – it’s driven by a right-wing billionaire who profits more
from flipping land than drilling for gas