The new Bain of Tim Pawlenty’s existence is a corporation called Smart Sands. Smart Sands provides Wisconsin sand for fracking, a very controversial method of extracting natural gas from the ground that potentially contaminates groundwater supplies and causes earthquakes. Since Pawlenty’s political wells all went dry, Smart Sands has become his financial fracking gambit. Pawlenty was named a Smart Sands Board of Director in June 2012.
While news outlets such as the Saint Paul Pioneer Press have noted that fracking is “increasingly controversial,” they haven’t asked the kinds of questions national reporters will ask if Pawlenty becomes Mitt Romney’s choice for the GOP vice presidential nomination:
- How much is Smart Sands paying Pawlenty?
- What major local, state and federal regulatory issues is SmartSands facing?
- Has Pawlenty made any contacts to government officials on the company’s behalf?
- Is the fracking industry subsidized through the tax code, or through other means?
- Is Smart Sands involved in any controversies?
- How is the safety record of Smart Sands, and fracking in general?
- How is the environmental record of Smart Sands, and fracking in general?
Whether or not Pawlenty is chosen, Minnesotans and Wisconsinites derve to know what the frack Governor Pawlenty and Smart Sands are doing.