St. Paul, Minn., January 16, 2020 – Jobs for Minnesotans released the following statement following the bill introduced by U.S. Representative Betty McCollum yesterday:

“U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum’s proposed legislation is a back-door attempt to block even the consideration of copper-nickel mining projects across a vast area of northeastern Minnesota, giving enormous power to federal politicians at the expense of federal and state regulators charged with conducting rigorous scientific and legal review of proposed projects. Enacting this legislation into law would deal a stunning blow to a region whose people cherish and work to protect the outdoors, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but also deserve the opportunity to pursue economic development that would create thousands of well-paying jobs lasting for decades. 

“It’s worth noting the economic disparities between the bill’s co-signers and the actual region it impacts. Constituents in Ramsey and Hennepin counties represented by Reps. McCollum and Phillips respectively enjoy incomes averaging $10,000 to $20,000 higher than residents of St. Louis County where these mineral deposits exist. All Minnesotans deserve the right to explore economic opportunities most relevant to their region while also protecting the environment.

“Jobs for Minnesotans members – leaders in business, labor organizations and communities across the state of Minnesota – believe any mining proposal should be thoroughly reviewed under existing law that has been in place for decades and there is no justification for discriminatory treatment of copper-nickel mining.”

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, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on


Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Chair