Gov. Tim Pawlenty was the “Green Chameleon,” but Gov. Mark Dayton doesn’t even pretend to be green.  Today, he showed his true colors, delivering a harsh undercutting “rebuff” of a statement just prior to petitions being delivered to his office, petitions with 6,000 signatures, obtained with a lot of effort from a lot of citizens, requesting he enact a moratorium to stop new frac sand mines in Southeast Minnesota.  To deliver this message in the way that he did says a lot for his regard for his constituents and their concerns.  How hard would it have been to meet with those delivering the Petitions, to graciously accept them, and at least consider the request, take it under advisement?

I sure hope everyone is talking about our Governor.  WOW!

6,000 signatures… how many does it take for a recall election?!?!?!?!

Here’s his statement:

“During the 2013 Legislative Session, Governor Dayton strongly supported a moratorium on frac sand mining in southeastern Minnesota. Unfortunately, that proposal was not supported by the Minnesota Legislature. Legal Counsel has advised that, absent legislative enactment of the moratorium, the Governor lacks the authority to unilaterally impose his own moratorium.
“However, local jurisdictions, such as counties, cities, and townships, have authority under existing Minnesota Statutes to declare moratoriums on frac sand mining and processing within their jurisdictions. Citizens living in those areas should urge those local officials to enact the measures they favor.
“Last year’s law did greatly strengthen state agencies’ authority to impose stringent requirements on any frac sand mining in that region. The Environmental Quality Board, DNR, and MPCA are all actively engaged in establishing and enforcing those restrictions.”


As for the “Critical Areas Act” as the basis for a moratorium, well, I’m not so sure about that…  There are a few steps that have to happen before it goes to the Governor.   Minn. Stat. 116G.06.

Here’s where you can tell him directly what you think of his treatment of concerned Minnesotans:

Contact Form

Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717

The report on MPR:

Dayton says no to frac sand moratorium

The report in the STrib:

Dayton says no to frac sand moratorium in southeastern Minn.

Says he lacks authority for the southeastern Minnesota ban sought by mining opponents

March 7, 2012: A lightening rod for recent protests about sand mining is this 50,000 ton pile of sand, referred to as “Mt. Frac” in downtown Winona. The Winona County Law Enforcement Center is in the background.

Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he can’t personally block the frac sand industry from expanding in southeastern Minnesota, rebuffing a group of mining opponents who delivered a moratorium petition to St. Paul as part of an Earth Day rally at the Capitol.

Bobby King, policy program organizer for the nonprofit Land Stewardship Project, said a rarely-used statute called the Critical Areas Act allows the governor to engage the state’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB), without action by the Legislature, in a process that could lead to a two-year moratorium against frac sand development.

The area they seek to protect is the ecologically sensitive limestone and bluffs region stretching south of Red Wing and inland from the Mississippi River.

But Dayton’s spokesman, Matt Swenson, issued a statement saying the governor “lacks the authority to unilaterally impose his own moratorium.’’ Swenson said the position was based on the advice of Micah Hines, the governor’s legal counsel.

Swenson said Dayton supported a moratorium on frac sand mining in southeastern Minnesota during the 2013 legislative session. The proposal died, but lawmakers passed a bill that gives local jurisdictions authority to declare their own temporary frac sand bans. In addition, any company proposing to mine frac sand near a trout stream in southeastern Minnesota must obtain a special permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), as well as meeting other regulations.

Meanwhile, the EQB, DNR and state Pollution Control Agency are developing air quality standards, land reclamation standards and revisions to the environmental review process for frac sand mining and processing in the state.

King was part of a group of 80 to 90 citizens who rallied at the Capitol, calling on Dayton to issue a moratorium. The group’s petition, started in mid-January, carried more than 6,000 signatures and was delivered to the governor’s office.

“We want the governor to use all the tools he has,’’ King said. “We believe he has the ability to act.’’

 Tony Kennedy • 612-673-4213

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