Jobs for Minnesotans Statement on St. Paul Financial Assurance Hearing
St. Paul, Minn. (Feb. 10, 2014) – On Tuesday, Feb. 11 in St. Paul, Minn., Jobs for Minnesotans, a business-labor partnership, will attend the Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee hearing about financial assurance for proposed copper-nickel mining projects in Minnesota. Members of Jobs for Minnesotans will be joined by allies who support the strong financial assurance laws already in place in Minnesota and the process that will adequately address financial assurance during permitting.
Minnesota has the opportunity to prosper from the world-class deposit of precious metals in northeastern Minnesota and generate economic benefits for decades. The more than 55,000 union members and the 2,500 businesses that are part of Jobs for Minnesotans trust the process in place during the permitting phase of project development to ensure maintenance costs for the project after closure are funded appropriately.
“We have the strongest financial assurance laws in the country. These laws were developed in collaboration with environmental organizations and will ensure taxpayers have bankruptcy-proof protection. Taxpayers will not only be protected, but will see significant financial gains from PolyMet and other proposed copper-nickel mining projects,” said Harry Melander, Jobs for Minnesotans co-founder and president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council.
“We’re confident that the multiple state and federal agencies currently managing the review of PolyMet’s SDEIS will regulate and protect Minnesota’s treasured natural environment and trust the DNR and our existing laws to address financial assurance as the project moves into permitting,” said David Olson, Jobs for Minnesotans co-founder and president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
“We stand to gain hundreds of jobs from PolyMet in addition to two million construction hours before any ore is produced. Our members see this project as an economic opportunity that will sustain families long into the future. These laws are already on the books, so let’s keep this project moving and strengthen the economy,” added Melander.
Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in October 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. This coalition represents businesses, middle class workers, labor, local governments and other supporters of job creation in the state of Minnesota. Jobs for Minnesotans was created to educate and provide information about the direct and ancillary job creation that the strategic metals mining can produce for the state.