Local townships have recently been overwhelmed with proposals by frac sand mining companies, and many of us have scrambled to educate ourselves about the possible impacts of this rapidly growing industry. The impacts, however, go beyond sand.
For decades, social scientists have documented the efforts of mining companies to subvert local democratic control over land use decisions. Such trends have been observed in many places around the world where mining takes place and community members ask questions. When large corporations seek to extract natural resources, they often view the concerns of community members as a barrier to future profits.