Friday, July 4, 2014

A Wisconsin Connection (or 2) to a Texas Colonia

The red square designates the approximate center of Wisconsin's sand mining activity.

Boom Meets Bust in Texas: Atop Sea of Oil, Poverty Digs In.  (The New York Times, 6/29/2014)

From us to you.  Across the railroad tracks and Interstate 35, a newly reopened railroad interchange stores acres of pipe and receives shipments of sand from Wisconsin to be used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.


Exporting lung disease The fracking sand — so powdery it seemed scooped from an exclusive beach — stretched for about 100 yards on roads outside homes and the Gardendale Qwik Stop, the colonia’s lone store. In 2012, federal health officials issued an alert about the health hazards workers faced from exposure to fracking-sand dust. Breathing so-called silica dust can cause silicosis, a lung disease.

Related reading.  
How the Wisconsin Winter Puts a Chill on Texas Oil Drilling.   (The Wall Street Journal,3/31/2014)

Mining operations disrupted due to relentlessly uncooperative winter weather.  Sand mines have been popping up all over Wisconsin because the state is home to a special variety of white silica that has strong, perfectly rounded grains well suited to holding open those underground cracks created by fracking. 

Not a problem with the mining operations of the Superior Silica Sands. According to the company's website, their New Auburn plant is a fully enclosed, all-weather facility, which enables Superior Silica Sands to produce frac sand at full capacity in the worst of winter weather.   (The New Auburn connection with which you are probably more familiar.)

In Fracking, Sand is the New Gold.  (The Wall Street Journal, 12/2/2013)

And Wisconsin is where it's at, baby!   In Wisconsin, the source of white sand perfectly suited for hydraulic fracturing, state officials now estimate more than 100 sand mines, loading, and processing facilities have received permits, up from just five sand mines and five processing plants operating in 2010.

Other frac sand mining posts:
Make way for the West Central Lateral.  (6/27/2014)
Scott Walker continues his "Thank You for Your Contributions" tour.  (5/23/2014)
What a mere $8,000 will buy you in the Scott Walker House of Favors,  (3/30/2014)
Frac sand mining and property values: Homeowners vs. landowners.  (3/30/2014)
Nevertheless, transparency would have been in the general pubic's best interest.  (3/15/2014)
Wisconsin Towns Association has second thoughts about that "gentler" frac sand mining regulation bill. (3/4/014)
Scott Walker likely to support Tom Tiffany's new mining bill.  (2/27/2014)
The vision of Trempealeau County as one big mining operation -- nipped in the bud.  (2/20/2014)
Glenwood City Council members defeat their recall challengers by a hair.  (12/18/2013)
Wyoming's Republican Governor has a message for Wisconsin mining industry's "Tom Terrific".  (11/24/2013)
The mining industry's "Tom Terrific" gets pushback from his Republican colleagues.  (11/18/2013)
In so many words: Dear Sen. Tiffany, Your bill sucks, Sincerely, Pepin County Board.  (11/13/2013)
Follow the Gogebic money.  (11/7/2013)
Sand mine industry leaders put our minds at ease.  (11/5/2013) 
Scott Walker donor promises jobs, permanence for Independence and Whitehall residents.  (10/29/2013) 
Sen. Tom Tiffany's sand mine bill a hot potato.  (10/28/2013) 
Another Walker campaign donor for SB349.  (10/25/2013)
Expensive to the Tune of $430,505.49 (as of June 30, 2013).  (10/25/2013) 
The Nipper Chronicles: The frac sand mining masters speak.  (10/18/2013)
Things aren't so tranquil in Glenwood City Wisconsin lately  (10/10/2013)

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