St. Paul, Minn. (January 13, 2021) – Jobs for Minnesotans released the following statement in response to the proposed Prove it First legislation released today by select members of the Minnesota legislature:
“This bill is not an attempt to strengthen the regulatory process, it’s simply an attempt to kill the mining industry in Minnesota and issue a blanket denial to projects that ultimately are essential to the future transition to green energy sources.
“Those backing this legislation ignore the fact that there have been non-ferrous mines that have opened, operated and closed in similar climates that have successfully protected the environment and remain in compliance in our country. Look to the Flambeau mine in Wisconsin and the Eagle mine in Michigan.
“We already have “prove it first” regulations and laws in our state environmental review and permit processes for all mining projects. Any nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals project proposed in Minnesota already has to prove it can operate safely without impacting the surrounding environment.
“You cannot have electric vehicles, solar panels or windmills without the minerals that are located in northeast Minnesota. Ninety-five percent of the U.S. nickel reserves and 88 percent of U.S. cobalt reserves are located here in northeast Minnesota. We as a state cannot just shut out an industry in one breath and then expect we have the ability to make this critical green transition in another.
“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 trust our government institutions and agencies to analyze each project based on science and facts in a predictable and fair way through the processes already in place.”
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 6,300 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: Nancy Norr, Board Chair