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Friction Among Minnesota Greens and Blue Collar Workers Intensifies After PolyMet Delays

On Monday, we got the news that Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt a setback to the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota by sending two crucial permits, the permit to mine and the dam safety permit, back to the Department of Natural Resources. The ruling, which also stated the agency must hold a contested case hearing, has opened a widened a rift between the environmental wing of liberal interests in Minnesota, and the blue collar workers who traditionally supported liberal lawmakers. A case in point is this statement from Jason George, who is the Business Manager for the Local 49...

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Minnesota Court of Appeals Delays PolyMet Project

Yesterday the Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt a setback to the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota. In the ruling, the Court sent two crucial permits, the permit to mine and the dam safety permit, back to the Department of Natural Resources. The ruling also stated the agency must hold a contested case hearing, which would require an administrative law judge to examine additional evidence and testimony on the project. The ruling is bad news for the Northeastern Minnesota communities who are eager for the economic boost that would accompany more mining. The PolyMet mine would provide 360 high-paying jobs at...

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This Year in Energy and Environment: 2019 Edition

With 2020 upon us, I'd like to reflect back on 2019 because it was a banner year for energy and environmental issues here at Center of the American Experiment. Here are some of the highlights from each month. In January, American Experiment submitted comments to the U.S. Forest Service in support of the lease renewal for the Twin Metals Minnesota mine. Since then Twin Metals has submitted its mine plan to state and federal agencies for review. We also covered the fact that wind and solar were not working during Polar Vortex in real time, highlighting the dangers of relying upon...

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Great News! Twin Metals Submits Its Mine Plan to State and Federal Agencies for Review

Yesterday, Minnesota took another step toward unearthing prosperity when Twin Metals Minnesota formally submitted its mine plan to state and federal agencies for review. According to the Twin Metals press release: "This marks the culmination of more than a decade of engineering, hydrogeological, environmental and engagement work including the evaluation of dozens of project configurations and technologies that maximize environmental protection." "Submission of the project starts a multi-year scoping and environmental review process that will thoroughly evaluate this proposal. The review process will include additional baseline data collection, impact analyses, and multiple opportunities for public input." The move was predictably decried by anti-mining...

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It’s National Miners Day- Thank A Miner

On National Miners Day, America honors the 325,000 men and women who work in nearly 13,000 surface and underground mines across the United States. Throughout Minnesota's history, the miners of our state have worked tirelessly to supply our state, and country, with the metals and minerals that are indispensable to our daily lives. Mining is part of Minnesota's history and heritage. During World War II, Minnesota’s miners labored tirelessly over 16-hour days to provide the iron ore that became the ships, aircraft, and rifles used win the war. Today, Minnesota produces 85 percent of the iron ore mined in the United States, making...

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Duluth News Tribune: In Response Column / It’s True: No Waste-Rock Piles, No Acid Mine Drainage at Twin Metals

Twin Metals made waves earlier this year when the company announced they would be using the dry stack tailings storing method, which is considered to be one of the safest way to store mine tailings. While even some anti-mining groups gave a tepid positive response (they seemed like they were caught flat footed, to be honest) other groups continue to contend that copper nickle mining cannot be conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. Julie Padilla of Twin Metals responds to some of these accusations in the Duluth News Tribune. We at Twin Metals always appreciate an opportunity to educate the public on...

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More Minnesota Mining! Talon Metals Seeks More Exploration on the Tamarack Deposit

Minnesota is home to some of the largest undeveloped deposits of copper and nickel in the world. Responsibly developing these resource would bring a major boost to Minnesota's economy, supporting up to 14,850 jobs and reduce America's reliance on foreign countries to supply the metals and minerals we rely upon every single day. Mining in Minnesota would also be a way to increase the supply of ethically mined minerals, reducing the demand for metals mined by children in foreign countries. One of the deposits we included in our 2018 study Unearthing Prosperity  was the Tamarack deposit, a copper-nickel rich deposit near the...

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Mining or the environment is a false choice; we can have both

This op ed appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on November 1st, 2019 In a column on Twin Metals’ planned sulfide ore copper mine (Local View: “Arrowhead better served without mineral leases,” Oct. 20), local economist Kris Hallberg wrote, “On the surface, the controversy appears to be a fight between two competing priorities: jobs versus environmental protection. But a closer look at the current economy of the region and the changing nature of rural economic development tells a different story.” Hallberg was right that the debate is usually presented as this choice. However, as we at the Center of the American Experiment...

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Why Are Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Sponsoring Minnesota Anti-Mining Legislation?

Mainstream news outlets in Minnesota rarely tell the tale of how the Obama Administration incorrectly broke decades of protocol by cancelling mineral leases of Twin Metals Minnesota and sought a 20 year moratorium on mineral exploration in the Superior National Forest during his lame duck session. The inappropriate actions of the Obama Administration were reversed  by President Trump, but unfortunately, Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith are supporting an action that would force the National Forest Service to prevent any action that would advance mining in this area, according to documents obtained by Mining Minnesota, pictured below. While Senator Smith's position...

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Another One Bites the Dust: Federal Judge Rejects Challenges to PolyMet Land Swap

Excellent news, as yet another lawsuit designed to delay the PolyMet mining project has been struck down in federal court. According to CBS: A federal judge has rejected challenges by several environmental groups to a land swap needed for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen dismissed the four challenges late Monday. She ruled that the groups lacked the necessary legal standing to block the land exchange between PolyMet and the federal government. She said that’s because PolyMet had not yet secured all the necessary permits to begin work, so the groups couldn’t establish that they’d been harmed. PolyMet...

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