St. Paul, Minn. (October 4, 2021) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the following statement in response to the court-ordered action taken by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Today, the agency issued a procedural order for a public process to determine the adequacy of the nonferrous mining rules:
“The existing rules require any nonferrous mining project proposed in Minnesota to prove it can operate safely without impacting the surrounding environment. Every mine proposal is unique and specific to its leases, location and mining methods. Every geological deposit the proposal sits on is different. We need to allow each project to be evaluated based on science and facts in a predictable and fair way through the regulations already in place.
“While we strongly defend the existing regulations in place for nonferrous mining, this action is another attempt to kill the mining industry in Minnesota. Those opposed to mining have failed to kill the industry through the legislative process, but instead are now trying to re-write regulations through the courts.
“Ultimately, we believe the rules will be deemed adequate yet again and this exercise is a giant waste of taxpayer dollars. This process also sets a precedence for any other regulated industries and deters investment and job creation in our state.
“This court order stems from a frivolous lawsuit from mining opponents who ignore the fact that the state’s nonferrous mining rules, which were developed over the course of three decades of comprehensive studies and public review, were upheld recently by the Minnesota Court of Appeals just in 2019.
“You cannot combat the climate crisis through green energy technologies like electric vehicles, solar panels or windmills without the minerals that are located in northeast Minnesota. We as a state cannot continue to shut out an industry in one breath and then expect to have the ability to make this critical clean energy transition in another.”
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