Dear Editor: I find it to be extremely hypocritical for Smart Sand to apply for "Green Tier" status. Green Tier is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' voluntary program that encourages, recognizes and rewards companies that are committed to superior environmental performance. It's hypocritical because frac sand mining is part of the reckless process of hydraulic fracking. Does Smart Sand really feel that the flushing of dangerous chemicals into the earth's crust and aquifers is a responsible method in accessing natural gas?

I look forward to the day when wind, solar and biofuels are given the same tax breaks that the petroleum industry enjoys. Only then will it bare the obvious  — that sustainable energy is the correct route to take. For now, it is a rigged game.

It is also very interesting that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty serves on Smart Sands' board of directors. I am sure that he is more than well versed on the ins and outs of how to "get things done." It would not shock me if Smart Sands had an all star line-up of lobbyists as well. Again, just an example of a rigged game.

It would be interesting to know how many environmental evaluations of the areas impacted by Smart Sand have been conducted. And, if any, what was found and who conducted them?

I am sorry, but I am one of the majority that is tired of "pay to play" politics in Wisconsin.

I never thought that I would see the day when the DNR became nothing more than a permitting kiosk for special interest groups.

Randy O'Connell


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