LETTER: Houston County frac-sand mining moratorium is needed
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:21 AM
After attending the public hearing on Feb. 13, concerning the one-year moratorium on frac sand mining in Houston County, I'm even more convinced that we need at least this much time for the issue to be examined.
It was obvious that those favoring the mining and opposing the moratorium are concerned with property rights and profits, but the public welfare is more important.
This is an issue concerning what is best for all rather than the chance for a few to improve their fortunes by risking our land, water, roads and health.
If our decisions are too hasty now, we are risking our future, our children and grandchildren's future, as well as the future of the land itself.
"The preservation of the natural beauty and aesthetic values of the county...and to provide for the health safety and general welfare of the Citizens of the County" is one of the stated purposes of the Planning and Zoning Commission...the general welfare, not the benefit of a few at the expense of many.
I also feel a need to address the presentation of self-proclaimed expert Jeff Broberg, who offered his analysis of the issue.
It's puzzling why he would feel compelled to come all the way from Elba on a snowy night to display such arrogance and rudeness to a roomful of concerned citizens by telling them that he was the only one there who knew anything about geology.
He was, conveniently, given the floor after all the scheduled speakers, smugly denying eyewitness accounts and scientific evidence on the problems involved in sand mining.
This appeared to be a set-up to give him the last word. When asked whom he was working for, he stated that he is with an environmental consulting firm in Rochester and that he had no client "here."
That evaded the answer of whom he was representing, though we know he spent nine years working for the petroleum industry.
His expertise, a B.S. in geology and experience on the payroll of the very industry lusting after this sand, hardly qualifies him as an unbiased observer whose word we can accept.
He was evidently there to sway the Planning and Zoning Commission away from the moratorium, and this makes me wonder who requested his presence for that purpose?
Clearly, the majority of the citizens of Houston County who have expressed their concern about frac sand mining wish to institute at least a yearlong moratorium before risking so much.
Black Hammer Township