Jobs & Economic Impact

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The need for well-paying jobs across industries and throughout the state of Minnesota endures today as our economy continues to recover from the Great Recession. Incomes remain low and the vulnerability of the economy is still of great concern, particularly in Greater Minnesota according to the Blandin Foundation’s 2016 Rural Pulse survey. The importance of creating economic opportunity and jobs in Minnesota is clear and projects in the copper-nickel mining and energy transportation industries can do just that.

Copper-nickel mining projects like PolyMet and Twin Metals Minnesota are already creating jobs during project planning. This industry will require millions of construction hours to build the mines and will create thousands of family-sustaining jobs for decades to come. For example, the PolyMet project will result in approximately 360 long-term jobs with annual wages and benefits estimated at $36 million. The Twin Metals project, once operational, would directly employ 650 people long-term.

Furthermore, a study conducted by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth found that approximately two spinoff jobs are created in other industries for each mining job. These spinoff jobs stabilize communities by providing new employment opportunities in manufacturing, retail, restaurants and green energy. The PolyMet project will generate more than 600 indirect and induced jobs in goods and services and other sectors where PolyMet dollars will flow and Twin Metals Minnesota estimates 1,300 spinoff jobs.

Energy transportation projects such as Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project will provide jobs to more than 6,500 Minnesotans during the course of the project, including 2,100 family-sustaining construction jobs, according to a 2017 economic impact study conducted by the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics. Additionally, these projects will provide new business opportunities for contractors for design, survey, environmental assessment, and project planning and ongoing positions in safety, monitoring and maintenance.

From construction workers to project planners and engineers to administrators, these mining and energy transportation projects will revitalize Minnesota communities by providing thousands of enduring, high-quality jobs and thousands of ancillary jobs.

Economic Impact

Copper-nickel mining and energy transportation projects will provide economic growth and renewal for the entire state.

Copper-nickel mining projects bring new investments as well as millions of dollars in tax revenues. PolyMet has invested more than $320 million in its project since 2006 and Twin Metals Minnesota has invested more than $400 million since 2010. These funds have supported our state’s economy and created job opportunities in our communities. Tax revenues will support government and public services, benefiting future generations of talented, hardworking Minnesotans. In fact, the Department of Natural Resources estimates that copper-nickel mining projects will generate approximately $3 billion for the Minnesota Permanent School Trust Fund, providing revenue for the education of nearly 900,000 K-12 students across every school district in Minnesota.

Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement project will provide a significant boost to Minnesota’s economy. As one of the largest tax payers in the region, Enbridge is currently paying more than $30 million annually to the state of Minnesota. The replacement project is expected to further increase property tax revenues in each county crossed by the pipeline, ultimately contributing an additional $19.5 million each year. According to a recent study from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics, Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project is expected to have an economic impact of more than $2 billion in Minnesota, with $1.5 billion as a result of Enbridge spending alone.

Furthermore, these companies continue to invest in local communities and non-profit organizations in the state. For example, the Enbridge Community Investment Program supported non-profit organizations in Minnesota with more than $275,000 in 2014. Since its creation in 2010, Twin Metals Minnesota has provided more than $320,000 in financial support to a variety of community organizations, including the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, Hunger Solutions Minnesota and more.

Enbridge, Twin Metals Minnesota and PolyMet are investing billions in major expansions and these investments will contribute to long-term, stable and reliable sources of energy for the United States.

By supporting responsible mining and safe energy transportation, we’re supporting other industries and products that improve the daily lives of Minnesotans, from the cars and buses that get us to work to the smart phones we use to reach our friends and family and even the materials we need to advance green technology, like windmills and electric cars.

The importance of these projects being allowed to follow timely, predictable and transparent regulatory and environmental review processes cannot be underscored enough. We trust that these reviews are rigorous and thorough and that the integrity of Minnesota’s strict procedures and regulators offer companies and citizens confidence the projects will be done right. For example, fair process for mining projects is in jeopardy due to the decision by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to pursue the withdrawal of 235,000 acres of federal lands from future leasing, exploration and potential development – essentially halting future mineral development in its tracks. Without fair process, Minnesota will see these project investments go elsewhere; and most likely in places with less strict environmental and labor safety regulations.

Watch our video below to hear Minnesotans tell the stories of how mining has supported our communities for generations.