Mesabi Daily News
Opinion: Jim Hofsommer
Here’s a question to ponder: After going on 10 years and $80 million later, why doesn’t the PolyMet project we’ve been hearing so much about even have a permit yet? If things don’t speed up pretty soon, a whole generation of workers could have — and should have — been employed by this project will all be dead of old age.
Perhaps some of the warm, fuzzy responses given as testimony by a gaggle of Enrads (environmental radicals) at the recent hearings are an indication for these endless delays. This testimony — for, or against — was supposed to be a factual analysis of the latest Environmental Impact Statement was sufficient, but some of the comments bordered on the incredulous to downright comical.
For all these years we have heard repeated so many times the hundreds of good-paying jobs, the millions of hours of construction work and the lode of ore so abundant that it may be the largest deposit in the world, that many of us can repeat these statistics in our sleep. For many Rangers, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a decent life and employment for hundreds of families, to keep our kids in the area, and to lower the unemployment rate of the Range — which has chronically been significantly higher than the rest of the state.