Hydraulic fracturing in Minnesota is about to take another big hit as environmental activists bus in from around the state to descend on the Capitol in St. Paul. A joint hearing of energy committess in the Minnesota House and Senate is expected to discuss a 30 year moratorium on silica sand mining on Tuesday, February 19th at 12:00 noon at the State Capitol. The sand is used by oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”
The Land Stewardship Project, an activist group heavily funded by the Joyce Foundation, a pet project of billionaire George Soros, has organized 2 busloads of activists who will travel from rural counties in Minnesota to the capitol. The Land Stewardship Project calls itself a “grassroots” community organizing group that is “organizing for change.” The group spent over $2 million in 2011.
According to Johanna Rupprecht, the contact at LSP organizing the travel details for activists from St. Charles and Rochester, there are still seats available on the 42 passenger bus, though she wouldn’t share on the record how many activists have been confirmed.
“We want to send a clear message to the legislature that this issue is very important… Local governments can’t handle this kind of thing on their own without state involvement,” said Rupprecht when asked what the group hopes to accomplish.
Rupprecht says LSP is urging the state to fund a General Impact Study and impose a moratorium on sand mining until it is complete and can be reviewed.
Rupprecht declined to divulge the costs associated with the community organization and travel for the hearings saying she would, “rather not share how much it will cost. I’m not sure how that’s relevant.”
The other bus is being organized in part by a newly formed group called The Houston County Protectors. Organizer Donna Buckbee says there are 45 confirmed attendees and she is hoping for more to reserve seats throughout the day.
LSP Executive Director George Boody is a registered lobbyist and “local foods expert” at the University of MN. LSP is also a member of Take Action MN which hosted training for the Occupy Movement. Boody did not immediately return a call for comment. LSP will hold a press conference at 11AM at the capitol.
To learn more about fracking, what it really does, who’s making money from it, and what the real environmental & economic impacts are, watch FrackNation. Set your DVR for Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 11AM Eastern Time (10 CST) on Axs TV. Read the FIVE REASON YOU MUST WATCH FRACKNATION here.