Minnesota residents are taking concerns about frac sand mining and other energy and climate issues to Washington, D.C., this weekend for a rally activists say could be the country’s largest on the topics.
Eric Nelson of Winona boarded an Amtrak train bound for Washington late Friday morning, joining others from Minnesota communities. Nelson said he spontaneously decided to take the trip after Winona resident Jim Gurley opted out due to illness.
“The issue of climate change is huge,” Nelson said. He said frac sand mining is just one of the issues that will be discussed at the rally, with others including offshore drilling, the hydraulic fracturing industry, global warming and more.
State Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, who chairs the Transportation Finance committee and serves on energy policy committees, hopped off the train briefly to greet 10 or so activists in Winona.
“Our message is that climate change is an urgent issue, and we need to take action at the state and federal levels,” Hornstein said. “Thank you, Winona, for standing up against frac sand mining,” he added.
Singer Prudence Johnson, author Louise Erdrich and storyteller Kevin Kling were also expected to be on the train and provide entertainment for passengers as they make their way to Washington.