In his most recent article, community columnist James Lien lamented that his home state of Wisconsin is "moving" to North Dakota. No, the citizens are not moving, but the land itself is moving. To be more specific, it is Wisconsin sand that is moving to North Dakota; frac sand, and lots of it.
Lien is upset that the face of the landscape in Wisconsin is changing as sand is being mined and shipped to North Dakota and other energy states. He goes on in his letter to add this sudden change in the Wisconsin landscape to the left's ever growing list of evils caused by hydraulic fracturing. Like so many others who call themselves progressives, Lien is blind to the benefits that have been wrought by the technological development of hydraulic fracturing. He refuses to look at the facts and has fallen prey to the manufactured hysteria of the left.
Lien goes on and on about the "tough decisions" that Wisconsin landowners face. But he doesn't see the positive side of the issue. Wisconsin landowners are experiencing a financial windfall. New jobs are being created as more of this sand is mined.
He worries that the landscape is changing. I wonder though, has he checked with his home state to see if state regulators have put any land reclamation regulations in place? I'd bet they have. Wisconsin is a beautiful state and I have no doubt that their lawmakers will do whatever is necessary to ensure it stays that way.
Lien states that energy companies should have planned better. The fact of the matter though is that no matter how well planned, today or tomorrow, the process of hydraulic fracturing still requires the use of sand. Lien brings up another oft stated complaint of the left that a third of the natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing is being flared. Lien needs to get out in the state and look around. The fact is that energy companies are making huge strides in building gas handling infrastructure and flaring is steadily decreasing.
There's an old saying that a rising tide lifts all boats. That's true of hydraulic fracturing. All across this great country, energy costs are decreasing, jobs are being created, individual wealth is being created, and we're becoming ever more independent of foreign sources of energy. Perhaps Lien should look at the issue with his own eyes, not through the prism of progressivism.