Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt is sending strong signals that he's not going to be friendly when it comes to the concerns of middle-class citizens about frac sand processing in nearby Chisago County.
Instead, he's only going to be applying his own shifting definition to the situation.
In House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt armed with middle-class 'litmus test', the Pioneer Press reports:
But he's quick to add that he'll apply a strict "litmus test" to every issue: "Does this help Minnesotans? Does this help middle-class Minnesotans find jobs? Does this make their lives easier?"
The East Central Minnesota Post Review reported in MPCA soliciting feedback on Tiller air permit:
It was a tight squeeze into a room rented by Tiller Corporation and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at the North Branch Area Library Dec. 3.
Around 100 people showed up for the meeting, which was organized to discuss the MPCA air quality permit Tiller has yet to obtain.
Tiller needs that permit in order to operate the frack sand drying plant it has nearly finished building along County Road 30 between North Branch and Harris.
Don Smith, manager of the Air Quality Permits Section for the MPCA, said Tiller began construction of the plant before receiving the proper permit from the agency.
Subsequently, the MPCA ordered Tiller to halt construction until the facility’s plans are thoroughly reviewed by the agency and the public.
“Normally, we issue the permit before construction is allowed to occur,” Smith said. “In this case, the company jumped the gun a little bit and built before they got a permit.” . . .
Another resident asked how Tiller was able to start construction of the facility without receiving the air quality permit.
Caron addressed that question.
“We made an honest mistake,” Caron said, a reply that elicited jeers from the crowd. . . .
Earlier, KARE 11 reported in Harris residents voice opposition to frac sand operation:
. . ."Whether it be the noise or the pollution from the trucks, it's going to be crazy," said Penny Corcoran who is leading a petition drive to stop the plant from opening.
She lives about three miles from the processing plant. And her house is a few yards from the rail line. She's concerned train traffic will overtake her neighborhood. . . .
Besides safety concerns, Corcoran also worries property values will decrease, and she isn't the only one.
"The values will just plummet because obviously no one wants a house on the tracks where there is consistent railway traffic," said realtor Cathy Carchedi who's been selling homes in the area for two decades.
Will those changes make lives in Harris and North Branch easier--or lower property values? Suddenly, Daudt is narrowing his standard:
Or consider frac sand mining, which legislative leaders have said will be a major issue this session. Critics have raised concerns about the environmental and other impacts in Minnesota of mining the sand, which is used in a hydraulic fracturing process to extract oil and natural gas elsewhere in the country.
Restrictions may be needed "but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater," Daudt said. "Those are jobs. I've got to think that there's people in Minnesota that would love to have a job driving a truck hauling frac sand."
Photo: Toxic labs create jobs. We've got to think that there's people in Minnesota that would love to have a job driving a truck hauling this stuff.
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