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Big Pushback Against Frac Sand (and Lobbyist Mayor) in Minnesota

Dennis Egan's Facebook page, as screenshot by Sally Jo Sorensen on February 5, 2013

The actual act of fracking isn’t the only controversial part of the fracking process. Mining the sand needed for fracking has its own problems, as Red Wing, Minnesota mayor and frac sand mining lobbyist Dennis Egan is discovering.

Many people were outraged at the gross conflict of interest embodied in Egan’s stances. But as Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen noted, instead of immediately and publicly expressing their outrage, they quietly prepared for much more effective action:

As it turns out, the editorial board of the Rochester Post Bulletin aren’t the only ones calling for Egan to step down as lobbyist or resign as mayor. (Read the PB’s call at Our View: Red Wing mayor shouldn’t serve two masters).

Here’s the pdf we downloaded of the citizen’s complaints posted at the Red Wing City Council’s page. Since the city posted the 40-page document without redacting contact information, we’re not altering the file.

09F1 – Mayor’s Role MN Industrial Sand Council – CC 02-11-2013 

If Egan doesn’t step down from one post or the other, a recall effort will likely await him.

It’s not just the Rochester Post-Bulletin and the Red Wing City Council that are against Mayor-Lobbyist Egan over frac sand. The Ho-Chunk Nation, headquartered across the Mississippi River in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, is speaking out as well. And there are signs of greater official scrutiny as well.

(Fun fact: Egan may be the Mayor of Red Wing, Minnesota, but his Facebook page lists him as a resident of Saint Paul. Saint Paul is, of course, the state capital of Minnesota, and the place where a lobbyist would do much if not most of his or her lobbying in the state. How interesting.)

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