2012-01-19 / Living
Natural gas, oil boom spurs sand mining in Midwest
Worries over health, environment surface
The rolling hills and scenic bluffs of western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota hide a valuable resource that has sparked what’s been called a modern-day gold rush. The object of desire is not gold but a soft sandstone needed by drilling companies to unlock underground natural gas and oil supplies in a controversial practice called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.