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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is inviting the public to provide input on the agency's most recent effort to assess the latest scientific, natural resource and socio-economic information relating to industrial sand mining and its infrastructure. “The department is conducting a strategic analysis on industrial sand mining in order to provide quality, factual information to the public and decision makers,” said Dave Siebert, Environmental Analysis bureau director. "We welcome the public's input in helping us determine what should be considered in the analysis." The public comment period for the scope of the strategic analysis runs through April 20. Go here to participate.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The Chippewa County, Wis., board gave a nod of approval for a frac sand processing plant and rail facility, according to WQOW TV. The board unanimously approved re-zoning a piece of land in the Town of Bloomer to be used as a dry plant for White Haven Sands. The plant will be located on a nearly 100-acre parcel of land located between Highway 53 and County Road SS.

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • The CEO of CSX, Michael Ward, stated during the company’s investor conference call, “Right now, as we look out through 2015 we don't see any significant impact at all in our crude oil by rail into the eastern markets, and certainly in our frac sand markets where we're moving into the Utica and the Marcellus area, where the natural gas and the natural gas liquids are, we don't think it will impact the frac sands that we're moving into those areas at all.”

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • At an open house on frac sand mining issues at the Howard Town Hall in Colfax, Wisc., organized by the Madison-based nonprofit group Midwest Environmental Advocates and local opponents of frac sand mining, community members spoke about the impact of mining on their lives. It is the first of three such meetings to be held in Western Wisconsin, according to the Leader-Telegram. Comments made at the meetings are to be forwarded to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to be considered in the initial “scoping” phase of what is to be a statewide DNR analysis of environmental and economic issues with frac sand mining. DNR staff has said the scoping phase for the study, which includes gathering public concerns from around the state, would be completed in March, said Kim Wright, director of Midwest Environmental Advocates.
 

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This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Canadian National Railway Co. reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and boosted its dividend, but lagged its main Canadian rival in a key efficiency measure. CN Rail said it is aiming to increase shipments of crude oil and frac sand in 2015 despite a steep decline in the price of oil. "There's a lot of investments that are being made by our customers in the energy markets," said Chief Executive Claude Mongeau on a call with analysts and investors. But Mongeau added that "there will be uncertainty. The price is obviously a key factor." Canada's biggest railway said it moved 128,000 carloads of crude and 89,000 carloads of frac sand in 2014, and sees a combined increase of 75,000 carloads in 2015.

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