Tim Pawlenty named to board of sand mining company

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty wasn't meant to lead a nation. But, since his August announcement to drop his 2012 presidential bid, he's made sure he's still governing something, somewhere.

Pawlenty was named to Smart Sand Inc.'s Board of Directors on Wednesday, which marks his eighth appointment to such a board. It's his fifth appointment since October.

The company, a sand mining business based in Fair Hills, Pennsylvania, will open a new site later this month in Oakdale, Wisconsin. Smart Sand plans to process more than one million tons of sand annually, then ship it to oil and gas hydrofracking operations across the country.

Fracking, which aims to tap one of the U.S.'s most abundant natural resources -- shale gas -- through drilling, has been the subject of controversy here in Minnesota. Pawlenty stands by the use of shale gas, which he says is cheaper and cleaner than coal or crude oil.

"Shale oil and gas is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S.," Pawlenty said in a release from Smart Sand. "With proper stewardship, it will help solve our nation's energy crisis and dramatically boost our economy."

However, opponents of fracking say it's effects on the environment have not been fully understood, since the practice is a relatively new one. Contaminated water supplies have been reported near fracking sites in Pennsylvania.

"T-Paw" has taken an interest in many sectors of the economy. He was elected to the board of Digital River, a public e-commerce company, in December, where he collected over $50,000 for the partial year. The Star Tribune reported he'll earn anywhere from $215,000 to $325,000 in total compensation from Digital River this year.

Luckily for his bank account, he holds seven similar positions across the country.

In the months after Pawlenty dropped his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, he became a board member at four companies: the Atlanta-based supply chain company RedPrairie; California-based Tiburon Inc., which offers computerized resources to law enforcement; the medical company Miromatrix; and Digital River.

He also holds board positions at Ionix Medical, a Minneapolis-based medical device company; a North Carolina-based company that operates commerce networks, Inmar Inc.; as well as Vector Capitol, a San Francisco-based private equity firm specializing in technology companies.

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