St. Paul, Minnesota (Oct. 20, 2021) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the following statement in response to action taken by the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management again announcing the withdraw of approximately 225,000 acres of federal land and minerals in northern Minnesota from future leasing and exploration and development activities:
“Jobs for Minnesotans is outraged by the Biden Administration’s arbitrary action to bar new mineral permits and leases on federally owned lands in northeast Minnesota. This action plays political football with the future of the region and sends a chilling message to hardworking Minnesotans who need the widespread economic benefits of mining in our state.
“This action contradicts the Biden administration’s commitments to address the climate crisis, shore up domestic supply chains and bolster American jobs. We cannot call for more electric vehicles and clean energy sources on one hand, and then shut out the domestic development of the very minerals needed to make this transition.
“Threatening to halt future developments in this vast region will cause the state to lose billions of dollars in potential revenues that support K-12 education across the state, as well as thousands of prospective jobs from future mining projects and associated spinoff employment. This action is devastating news for the economic wellbeing of our state.
“The withdrawal of federal minerals from future development is unnecessary and unlawful. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has strict protections in place within its boundaries as well as buffer zones surrounding it where mining is prohibited. If this decision were based on science, the administration would rely on studying a site-specific project proposal. Every mine proposal is unique and specific to its leases, location and mining methods. Every geological deposit the proposal sits on is different.
“Federal agencies are ignoring the voices of those most affected by this drastic decision. Minnesota’s labor, business and community leadership will not stand down. We will make our voices heard.”
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 70,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 members and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Brian Hanson, Board Chair