Duluth News Tribune
One week before public hearings begin on Minnesota’s proposed new rules for protecting wild rice from sulfate pollution, the state’s mining industry, Steelworkers and Iron Range officials and activists are restating their fervent opposition.
Critics say the new rule could cause increased regulation for taconite iron ore processing operations and some municipal sewage treatment plants.
Mesabi Daily News
Gerald M. Tyler
In April 2015, collaborating with anti-mining activists, Minnesota Fourth District Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced a bill to ban mining on all federal lands within the Rainy River Watershed of the Superior National Forest. In March 2016, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, in collusion with the anti-mining activists, directed the Minnesota DNR not to authorize or enter into any new leases or state access agreements on state lands in the Rainy River Watershed of the Superior National Forest. Governor Dayton’s unlawful directive prohibits mineral development on approximately 147,600 acres of state owned lands. The 147,600 acres include 95,000 acres of Minnesota Public School Trust Lands. These lands are owned by the state in trust for all public schools of Minnesota. Revenues generated from school trust lands are credited to the permanent school fund managed by the State Board of Investment including royalty payments. The Governor’s wrongful and unlawful directive prohibiting mineral entry and development on School Trust Lands will deny Minnesota schools of millions of dollars of revenues to operate and maintain the public schools.
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Union leaders, DFL officials, and environmental groups are upset after two well-known advocates were quoted with some disdainful comments about miners in a piece to be published in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.
Dave Lislegard, a third generation Iron Ranger, former steelworker, and now an Aurora City Councilor, sat down with Eyewitness News and shared his perspective on the comments.
“These comments and statements are extremely disheartening for people on the Iron Range. They are uncalled for and unwarranted. We can agree to disagree. But attacking our way of life, for the Range, it’s very disappointing.”
St. Paul, Minn. (Oct. 4, 2017) – Jobs for Minnesotans today released the following statement in response to recent bi-partisan actions by Reps. Tom Emmer (MN-06), Congressman Collin Peterson (MN-07) and Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) to allow responsible mineral production to continue in Northern Minnesota.
“Jobs for Minnesotans supports the important bi-partisan actions our leaders have championed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The actions to oppose the land and mineral withdrawal proposed by the U.S. Forest Service and renew the Twin Metals federal mineral leases bring hope to Northeastern Minnesotans that their way of life will be sustained and their economic future strengthened.
Reps. Emmer, Peterson and Lewis deserve great credit for working together across party lines, to represent the best interests of the citizens, communities and working families in Northeastern Minnesota and across the state. These actions help to eliminate delays, return to good stewardship of fair process and restore the opportunity to explore strategic metals in one of the richest mineral deposits in the nation critical to our economy and national security.”
About Jobs for Minnesotans
Jobs for Minnesotans, a coalition representing business, labor and communities, supports statewide opportunities for prosperity and middle-class jobs from sustainable natural resource development in Minnesota. The organization is committed to the principle that our state can preserve both job opportunities and the environment for future generations. Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in 2012 by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council representing 55,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 companies and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Meagan Pick
Mesabi Daily News
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit the U.S. Forest Service from excluding any National Forest land from mining without approval from Congress.
The bill also would restore mineral leases to Twin Metals, the company which has plans for an underground copper mine near the Kawishiwi River and Ely. Similar legislation to restore those leases already has advanced in the House.