The citizen-led scrutiny of the price of industrial-scale silica sand mining to their communities continues.
What is the value of a working landscape? We needn’t fly to France or Italy for the answer. Wisconsin Public Radio reports in Pepin County May Soon Restrict Frac Sand Operations Near Great River Road:
The ban is touted as a way to protect the tourism industry from heavy industrial truck traffic.
Pepin County only has one operating frac sand mine but people in the towns of Pepin and Stockholm are worried more will spring up along the bluffs that line the Mississippi River. Pepin County Board Supervisor Bill Mavity represents the area and has co-authored an ordinance that would create a mine-free zone the shore from Pierce County to the mouth of the Chippewa River.
“It’s a narrow strip of land that houses a great deal of the tourism business in Pepin County. It’s about 10 percent of the land mass. It produces or provides about 30 percent of the tax base for the whole county.”
Read the rest and listen to the feature at WPR.
Flush with dark money, the Heartland Institute has touted industry public relations “job studies” for sand mining that tout jobs, jobs, jobs, using impossible multipliers. These “economic” studies have formed the talking points reflexively chanted by industry and construction unions alike.
At The Price of Sand, documentary filmmaker Jim Tittle has released seven short YouTube clips drawn from an interview with Dr. Thomas Power, an economist from Montana State University, where he served as Chairman of the Economics Department and taught for 40 years. Power is the author of The Economic Benefits and Costs of Frac-Sand Mining in West Central Wisconsin, a study recently released by the Wisconsin Town Association, the Wisconsin Farmers Union, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. We’ve embedded a copy of the study below the seven videos.
The Free Lunch Approach: Public Relations “Economic” Studies by Industry:
Multiplier Liars: Flawed assumptions and analysis in sand happy job talk
Frac Sand industry spokesters claim that every dollar of their payroll is multiplied in local communities. Some claim the value of these dollars is seven, or even sixteen times the amount paid. Here’s what Power says about that (and he’s not the only one questioning large multipliers):
Who Holds the Dollars? Will the frac sand industry make small town economies stronger?
Double Whammy: Extracting a mineral to extract oil and gas somewhere else?
Smell the Dirt: When a frac sand mine moves in, will it affect property values?
Buy A Truck, Make a Buck: When a new frac sand mine opens, some people borrow money, buy a truck, and go into business hauling frac sand. What’s the risk?
Frac Sand See Saw: Powers answers the question, “How long will the frac sand jobs last?”
Here’s Power’s study:
Photo: The Great River Road, in Pepin County, Wisconsin. v