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In The Tank: Episode 173

Hello all! I'm excited to announce that I have been asked to be a co-host of the In the Tank Podcast, which examines the work of Think Tanks throughout the country. The podcast is produced by The Heartland Institute, where I used to work. This week Donny, Justin, and I examine the Green New Deal in further detail, talk about Education Savings Accounts, explain why a recent court ruling could unravel Obamacare, and debate whether Oregon's proposal to limit the allowable blood alcohol limit to .05 will have its intended effect. Thanks to the Manhattan Institute, the Beacon Center of Tennessee,...

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Eye On Mining: Gov. Walz Talks Copper-Nickel Mining

Governor Walz talked a good game in the interview by saying he supported copper-nickel mining in Minnesota and that we must follow the science, but his selection of Sarah Strommen as the new commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, who has ties to anti-mining groups, is concerning....

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Listen Up: The Great Minnesota Mining Debate Featuring Isaac Orr and Kevin Lee of Minnesota Center of Environmental Advocacy

Last year I participated in a debate about the future of copper nickel mining in Minnesota at the Theater of Public Policy with Kevin Lee, from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. The debate was very civil, and then improv actors have some fun with what they learned about the issue. Audience members had strong opinions on both sides of the issue but we were able to co-exist. Since then, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have granted the PolyMet mining project all of the necessary permits to build the mine. My performance obviously tipped the balance,...

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For Iron Range 2019 Can’t Get Here Soon Enough

It's already a Happy New Year before 2019 even officially arrives on the Iron Range, where they've already seen glimpses of what the future will bring.  After years of bureaucratic hold-ups and red tape, northern Minnesota stands on the cusp of an economic boom from a new generation of environmentally responsible mining. The Star Tribune highlighted the breakthrough on the front page of the Sunday edition that's read by hundreds of thousands statewide. “We’ve been talking for years about how to get ready,” said Biwabik Mayor Jim Weikum. “It’s been hard to keep people’s spirits up. You want people to be excited...

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Twin Metals Keeps On Winning, Despite Best Efforts of Urban DFL

Minnesota is home to the world's largest undeveloped deposits of copper, nickel, and platinum group elements, and developing these mineral resources will be a massive boost to the economy of our state. While the PolyMet mine has received the necessary permits from the state, the proposed Twin Metals mine has been the ire of urban liberals and environmentalists who do not want to see the mine developed. Fortunately, according to an article in MinnPost, the Trump administration has other ideas and has taken several concrete steps to support the project. The Obama administration blocked new mineral leases for Twin Metals in 2016,...

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PolyMet Granted Key Permits from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency!

Great news! The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has granted the final permits for the PolyMet copper-nickel project in northern Minnesota to move forward. According to PCA: "The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today issued the final air and water permits for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet project in northeastern Minnesota. “Issuing these permits comes after a years-long process that saw the most thorough environmental review any construction project has ever had in Minnesota,” MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine said. “We are confident the requirements in these permits will protect the environment and human health over the long term.” The MPCA developed draft permits and released them...

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Stauber and Nolan Push Last Ditch Passage of Mining Bill

Congressman-elect Pete Stauber has a few more weeks before going to DC as Minnesota's new Eighth Congressional District representative. But the Republican isn't wasting any time getting behind bipartisan legislation introduced by his Democratic predecessor Cong. Rick Nolan to make way for more mining in northern Minnesota. The sooner, the better, preferably before Stauber's swearing in, according to the Duluth News Tribune. “We both strongly agree on the importance of environmentally safe mining in northern Minnesota,” Stauber said in his news release statement. “If this legislation doesn’t become law, one of my first acts in the 116th Congress will be to...

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When Will Fair Trade Coffee Drinkers Embrace Fair Trade Cobalt?

Copper, nickel, and cobalt mining is a controversial topic in Minnesota, but is it more controversial than child labor? Like it or not, we all use these metals for nearly every aspect of our modern lives, and if we do not mine them in Minnesota, where we have strong protections for workers and the environment, we will import these metals from countries that don’t....

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