As I have tried to study silica sand mine issues in southeastern Minnesota, I have to say I am a bit disappointed in Minnesotans. It appears that our stance is one of "let's do what we can to prevent silica sand mining in southeastern Minnesota," when we should collectively take the stance of "what can we do as Minnesotans to make safe silica sand mining viable in southeastern Minnesota?"

Over our recent history and within southeastern Minnesota, we have figured out how to make a nuclear power plant, wind farms, a major refinery, ethanol plant, coal fired electrical facilities all viable in our area. Our human energy and intelligence needs to be focused on figuring out how to make safe silica sand mining work successfully.

We are huge users of fossil fuels in the United States. In our region, North Dakota is doing the heavy lifting by producing huge quantities of crude oil and natural gas that are or will be benefiting Minnesotans and others in the United States. Wisconsin and South Dakota are doing their part by mining silica sand to be used in hydraulic fracturing.

Minnesota needs to do more than want to tax North Dakota crude oil that travels on Minnesota railroad tracks and say "no" to silica sand mining in southeastern Minnesota. We as Minnesotans should do our fair share by pressuring our elected representatives to do all they can do to help the Keystone XL Pipeline project come to fruition to take pressure off crude oil rail traffic as well as saying "yes" to safe silica sand mining and creating a viable industry that helps Minnesotans do our fair share. After all, we are part of the United States of America.

Steve Majors

Spring Valley