"Sand is in high demand among U.S. oil and
natural-gas producers, setting off a sand rush in Wisconsin, Minnesota
and other Midwestern states. Sand mined in the Midwest is used in places such as North Dakota and Pennsylvania to tap oil and gas reserves.
Sand mined in the Midwest is used in places such as North Dakota and
Pennsylvania to tap oil and gas reserves. The U.S. producers' demand for
sand reached 28.7 million tons in 2011, up from six million tons in
2007 (see chart above).
The surging demand is making sand the Midwest slice of a national energy
boom. Oil and gas producers in recent years have greatly boosted the
use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to tap reserves once
out of reach. Sand, injected deep underground to prop open fractures in
shale formations and allow oil and gas to flow out, is important in
Wisconsin and Minnesota have abundant supplies of the type of sand that
oil and gas producers need. Geological conditions were right hundreds of
millions of years ago to form sand hard enough to withstand the
pressure thousands of feet underground, while also having round grains
that leave space so the oil and gas can escape. Fracking sand can fetch
around $50 a ton, depending on quality."
MP:Drill, drill, drill = jobs, jobs, jobs in many supporting industries like fracking sand.