20 Jan 2015
January 20, 2015

Good Environment, Good Jobs: We Can Have Both

January 20, 2015

Mesabi Daily News
Opinion: Frank Ongaro (Mining Minnesota)

The Wall Street Journal recently published an opinion piece about the environmentalist’s Catch-22. The article was reminiscent of the cries we hear in Minnesota for sustainability and for reducing our carbon footprint.

Ironically, these pleas for a greener future forget that we rely on metals to execute this utopian vision. The voices are from the same individuals who frame copper-nickel mining as a dichotomous argument — jobs versus the environment.

But this simply isn’t a fair or accurate portrayal of the issues at hand. We are all environmentalists and we all enjoy the beauty and serenity of Minnesota’s wilderness. Our state has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts, and with a population above 3.5 million, there are many people who call Minnesota home who have an interest in protecting the outdoors for future generations.

A majority of these 3.5 million individuals also need jobs — jobs that support their families and provide opportunities for future generations of Minnesotans. Thankfully, we can have both — the environment and mining have coexisted for more than 130 years and with modern technologies, will continue to do so as we expand the state’s rich mining tradition.

Read more: http://www.virginiamn.com/opinion/columnists/good-environment-good-jobs-we-can-have-both/article_af0620b8-88bc-11e4-a95c-2f476453b73e.html