Mesabi Daily News
Mineral leases — 31 of them — for exploratory drilling in Northeastern Minnesota were approved by the Executive Council Friday after a more than 10-month delay.
The council, comprised of the state’s five constitutional offices, voted 4-1 to issue the leases to the highest bidders. Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr and his staff had recommended the leases be awarded prior to the council’s December 2012 meeting. Their recommendation held into this year.
At that meeting, the vote was 3-1 against issuing the leases, with only Attorney General Lori Swanson in favor and Gov. Mark Dayton, Auditor Rebecca Otto and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie supporting a delay. Lieutenant Gov. Yvonne Prettner-Solon did not attend the meeting.