To the editor,

As a lifelong resident of southeast Minnesota, I've been reading with interest the information being put forth by the pros and cons of the frac sand debate.

I personally see more pros than cons in this debate. Maybe I need more information, but how can a naturally occurring substance (sand) be considered so detrimental to our environment? From most of the articles I've read, the mining companies are proposing reclaiming the land when they are finished removing the sand, recycling the water they use to wash the sand, having dust control policies and practices in place to limit the dust produced by traffic and using the same flocculent to settle out the wash water in sand processing that is used in many sewage treatment plants in the area.

The complaints of increased truck traffic being detrimental to our roads might be credible if it wasn't for the fact that each one of those trucks pay what is called a heavy use tax which goes right back into building and maintaining these roads that we all travel.

The more I read, the more I believe it is a win-win situation for southeast Minnesota. We're helping our country become more energy independent by providing a much-needed resource that is used in the oil and gas drilling process. If we don't provide it here, they (the oil and gas companies) will import it from somewhere else, thus driving up the cost of oil production, which we will eventually pay for at the pump.

The economic plusses alone, with increased jobs, increased tax revenue from both business and personal income taxes, will go towards improving our infrastructures, schools and revitalize our small towns. The last thing we need to do is stifle small business and local entrepreneurs who want to see southeast Minnesota blossom by providing jobs and tax revenue in this bleak economy.

America was built on ideas like this so anything we can do to become energy independent, I'm all for. Plus, after the sand is removed and the topsoil replaced, we will have more tillable and less highly erodible land to help feed a hungry world in the future.

Lawrence Hindt,

Spring Valley