Northern Minnesotans Urge Boycott of Feds’ Hearing on Mining Ban
What if the U.S. Forest Service held a public hearing on the Obama administration’s last-minute moratorium on mining in northern Minnesota and nobody came? Nobody, that is, except for Twin Cities environmentalists who will go to the mat to stop economic progress through natural resource development at any cost.
That’s the scenario mining supporters see coming at a July 18 public hearing in St. Paul on the controversial moratorium and regional hold on mining that’s being held on the home turf of Twin Cities environmentalists. But the Duluth News Tribune reports the absence of mining supporters may speak louder than their words through a boycott of the hearing.
The pro-mining groups say the St. Paul meeting should not have been scheduled, apparently because it’s being held in the Twin Cities where a large number of copper-mining opponents live.
The group Jobs for Minnesotans, the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council and the United Steelworkers say they won’t go to the St. Paul meeting.
“The newly announced third hearing for St. Paul is about politics, theatrics and allowing mining critics to stuff the comment box,” the groups said in a press release Tuesday. “The Iron Range will not bow to this charade. Residents of the Iron Range and mining supporters across the state will stay home on July 18, but will be in attendance in full force in Virginia on July 25.”
The Jobs for Minnesotans coalition includes a cross section of groups including the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The boycott comes on the heels of a tour of the mineral-rich region by bipartisan members of Congress who have urged the Trump administration to overturn the Obama-era regulations.