Election Results In Western Wisconsin May Signal Shift Against Frac Sand Mining

6 Of 7 Candidates Endorsed By League Of Conservation Voters Claim Victory

Above, a frac sand mining operation in western Wisconsin. Photo: Carol Mitchell (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Concerns about frac sand mining has led to a string of county board victories for candidates endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters in western Wisconsin.

This was the first time the League of Conservation Voters endorsed candidates running for local government posts. They endorsed seven candidates running for board supervisor seats in Buffalo and Trempealeau counties. Six of those candidates won.

Anne Sayers, the program director for the league, says these victories are just part of a regional political shift.

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“These results show that the tide is turning on frac sand mining,” said Sayers. “It’s no longer the case that frac sand mining industries can come to Wisconsin and just run roughshod over the laws we have on the books and the people that call western Wisconsin home.”

Even at a statewide level, Sayers says more people are becoming wary of the explosive growth of the frac sand industry.

“If I were a frac sand mining company this morning I would be thinking long and hard about the approach that I’ve been taking in Wisconsin,” said Sayers.

Nettie Rosenow is one of the league-endorsed candidates that won a seat on the Buffalo County Board last night. She says local government has been overwhelmed by the battles brought on by frac sand mining companies.

“So many of these county governments and town governments are so unprepared for this industry, unprepared for citizen involvement, and that’s the thing that I want to change the most,” said Rosenow. “I want to involve the citizens in the decision making.”

In St. Croix County, two other candidates with concerns about possible frac sand mining near a school were elected to the Glenwood City Council. Opponents of the proposal hope it will be enough to stop the project.