During the final Fillmore County Commissioners' public hearing on frac sand mining regulations, held on Thursday, Nov. 15, most issues raised concerned regulation details. Only a few questioned the overall wisdom of hydrofracture drilling and the sand mining that supports it. The following is one of those statements that did foresee harmful consequences our grandchildren will inherit:

"Today, while we acknowledge with gratitude the time and effort of all parties, public and private, in addressing concerns of how best to manage frac sand mining in Fillmore County, we want to speak briefly of a larger and more adverse concern surrounding this issue that affects future as well as current generations.

"Humanity's well-being, perhaps its very survival moving forward, becomes more and more questionable with every unsustainable degradation of earth's elements on which our existence depends. A century of energy independence leveraged by plunder today could yield a millennium of apocalyptic health and sustenance repercussions tomorrow!

"Pollution aside, hydrofracturing is to the earth's crust what termites are to a building's framing plates, and frac generated earthquakes in Ohio and other drilling states affirm the appropriateness of that comparison. We think this technology should not be supported in any form!

"Our irreverent exploitation of nature was seen long ago by a native prophet in this country who wrote: 'Only when the last tree is cut down, the last water poisoned, the last animal destroyed ... only then will you understand you cannot eat money.' This realist envisioned our future cast in the age old warning, 'money is the root of all evil,' and which county servants in Wisconsin and elsewhere prove as they forfeit the greater good of their communities by leaving their oversight jobs for petro-dollar positions with sand companies who double their former salaries and offer perks like free vehicles in exchange for their local knowledge and expertise!

"We want the record here to read that some of us hold values that transcend money, that we stand in the spirit of the common good modeled by those before us who saw the big picture; founders who declared that liberty and justice was for all, a president who valued the sovereignty of the nation over the desires of several states, another who secured for future generations our natural heritage through creation of the national park system, or, more to our issue, this year the state of Vermont securing its common health and environment by banning hydrofracture drilling outright!"

Robert and Monica Hatch