The rapid growth in Wisconsin’s frac sand industry is slowing, thanks to lower prices and increased supply. The sand is still in demand, but people who expected that they could get rich quick on the state’s sandy soils may be disappointed.
Currently, there are no official employment numbers for the state’s rapidly expanding frac sand industry. But the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, using job-site estimates developed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, found that when existing mines and those being built are fully operating, the industry will employ about 2,780 people — a sizeable number given the state’s overall luckluster job picture.
A recent traffic crash in Fitchburg claimed the lives of four young men, and the driver has been tentatively charged with four counts of homicide by drunken driving. According to a national survey, Wisconsin leads the nation in drunken driving.
The Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association, a powerful state lobby group, is taking its case for more and better roads directly to the people — by running ads during Badgers’ and Brewers’ games.
Advocates for improving the nation’s passenger rail system see it as a faster, cleaner way to travel. But other transportation policy experts believe those benefits are overstated and don’t justify the high cost of providing passenger train service.