I disagree with the Land Stewardship Project that Minnesota state government needs to play an active role in frac sand mining (State frac sand moratorium unlikely, Apr. 24). By imposing a moratorium on frac sand mining, which the LSP advocates, jobs will be destroyed and revenues will be lost to state and local governments.
According to Information Handling Services, Inc., Minnesota’s supplier networks, trade flows, and other economic activity related to frac sand mining supported 19,000 good-paying jobs in the state, and the number is expected to grow to 42,000 by 2035 – 1.2 percent of the state’s labor force.
In 2012 the frac sand industry contributed nearly $2 billion in value-added economic activity, generating $260 million in state and local tax revenues. By 2035, economic activity is expected to grow to $4.7 billion.
Those projections were made using the assumption that all state and local policies remained constant. There’s no doubt a state-wide moratorium would severely hamper that growth, if not end it all together.
Taylor Smith is a policy analyst for The Heartland Institute.