February 5th, 2013
Red Wing’s Mayor, Dennis Egan, is the voice of frac sand mining. Yes, it’s true, and here is his email so you can tell him what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s the big deal? Well, it’s a simple matter of whose interests the mayor represents. It’s about ethics. The Mayor’s job is to public represent the City of Red Wing, the “titular head” of the city. Can he spell C-O-N-F-L-I-C-T?
The City of Red Wing recently spent a year addressing frac sand in the City, first enacting a Silica Sand Moratorium and then an Ordinance. This remains a major issue at Goodhue County, and in the entire state of Minnesota.
It appears that organizing his “Red Wing 2020,” an “Advisory Committee to the Mayor” and having this “Advisory Committee to the Mayor” host a frac sand mining promotional love fest wasn’t enough, nooooooooo, now he’s officially, publicly, and professionally promoting frac sand interests, and he’s being paid for it. While he’s Mayor of Red Wing? Can you believe it?
A recent Politics in Minnesota article laid it out, that he’s “Executive Director” of the Minnesota Industrial Sand Council, which is a lobbying group to promote frac sand mining and associated interests. Here’s the scoop that relates to Mayor Egan:
The sand mining industry has recently gotten organized as well. The Minnesota Industrial Sand Council was formed about three weeks ago, with Red Wing Mayor and Capitol lobbyist Dennis Egan as its executive director. The council, which is part of Aggregate & Ready Mix of Minnesota, has hired the Minneapolis-based Larkin Hoffman law and lobbying firm as its lobbyists. The group includes sand-mining companies as well as railroad, trucking and petroleum interests.
“We’ve got mining operations that have been in Mankato and Shakopee and St. Peter and Winona. These are Minnesota folks,” Egan said. “When they hear their operations and their livelihood potentially is going to come to a screeching halt, they said: ‘We need a voice at the Capitol, because that’s now where the conversation is going.’”
The group is stressing to lawmakers that the sand is used in industries ranging from sand paper to fiber optics, and calling attention to state and federal regulations that hold the industry in check, Egan said. He said the group is also putting together a best practices document.
“We want this industry to be safe and healthy, not only for those for those who work in the pits but for the communities that surround it,” Egan said. “Truck traffic, dust issues that comes from mining, we recognize there can be concerns, so how do we best address that?”
FYI, Mayor Dennis Egan’s facebook pages says he “lives in St. Paul.” Curiouser and curiouser!