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Statewide View Column: Closing Down Coal Gives China’s, India’s Iron Industries An Edge

The following article was written by me, and it originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune. Xcel Energy recently made headlines by announcing it wished to close down its coal-fired power plants 10 years before they were previously scheduled to retire. However, it would be nothing short of a disaster for Minnesota’s mining industry, both present and future, if Minnesota Power pursued a similar path by closing the coal-fired Boswell Energy Center at a time when China and India are greatly expanding their use of coal. Mining requires an enormous amount of energy. In fact, the MinnTac mine in Mountain Iron reportedly...

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Elizabeth Warren Brings Her Campaign Against Reality to Minnesota

Elizabeth Warren visited Minnesota last week to hold a campaign rally in her bid  to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. At the rally, Warren waded into two highly controversial environmental debates in Minnesota by opposing the replacement of the Line 3 oil pipeline, and voicing her opposition to the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, which would develop the massive reserves of copper, nickel, and other metals like platinum, palladium, and cobalt in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, the policies proposed by Senator Warren represent a continuation of her campaign against reality. Line 3 Minnesotans use a lot of oil. In fact, U.S. Energy Information...

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Great News: MN Supreme Court Deals Blow to Anti-Mining Groups’ Hopes of Delaying PolyMet

Last week the Minnesota Supreme Court delivered a major blow to anti-mining groups by declining an appeal to its unanimous May decision that an additional environmental review of the contentious PolyMet copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes is not needed, according to a PolyMet news release. This is great news for Northeastern Minnesota because environmentally responsible non-ferrous mining promises to be a major engine to the region's economy, if the anti-mining crowd doesn't stop it. The lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to reconsider it's decision was brought by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, both...

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Secretary of Agriculture Perdue Defends Decision to Renew Mineral Leases

Anti-mining activists have been quick to criticize the Trump Administration's decision to renew the mineral leases for the Twin Metals Minnesota project located north of Ely, Minnesota. However, these criticisms are not intellectually honest. After all, it was the Obama administration, in a lame-duck action, who broke decades of protocol by cancelling these mineral leases and sought a 20 year moratorium on mineral exploration. Even Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar stated the renewable should have been handled through the normal process. This is why it was refreshing to see Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, take to the pages of the Star...

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Iron Range Legislators Clap Back At Anti-PolyMet Letter Written by 18 Metro-Area DLF’ers

It didn't take long for a bipartisan group of Iron Range legislators to clap back against the letter written by 18 metro-area DFL lawmakers urging Governor Walz to cancel all permits for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine, releasing this statement yesterday afternoon. I can't say it any better than the Iron Range lawmakers, so I'll leave it up to them to make the points. Iron Range Legislators Respond to Calls to Stop the PolyMet Permit The claims by metro legislators and anti-mining groups about PolyMet Mining are downright fabrications. It is very disappointing that people don’t know or don’t care what our...

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DFL Legislators Want to Halt PolyMet, Urge Governor To Cancel Permits

According to the Star Tribune, eighteen liberal Democratic lawmakers from the Metro area are calling for Governor Tim Walz to suspend all state permits for PolyMet's proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota. The legislators claim the suspension is needed to make sure that "the permits were not rigged." It's interesting to note that not a single DFL lawmaker from the Iron Range, where the mine would actually be located, signed on to the letter. This makes sense, because no project in Minnesota history has been studied more extensively than the PolyMet project, which has been under regulatory review for more than...

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BREAKING NEWS: Twin Metals Minnesota Proposes Most Technologically Advanced Mine in Minnesota History

The future of mining in Minnesota looks even brighter today as Twin Metals Minnesota announced they will protect Minnesota’s water resources at their planned copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota by using a method called dry stack tailings storage, which is often touted by environmental groups as the best way to store waste rock left over from the mining process. This technology eliminates the storage ponds and dams associated with conventional tailings facilities and it has been successfully used in four mines in the northern United States and Canada with similar climates to Minnesota and has been permitted at two mines in...

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