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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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High Electricity Prices Cripple Australian Manufacturers, Is Minnesota Next?

Companies throughout Australia are reconsidering whether they will indeed bring manufacturing jobs back from China after experiencing enormous increases in electricity prices as a result of the closure of an enormous coal-fired power plant and government regulations that mandate the use of "green power." For example, according to the Financial Review: Hardware manufacturer Alchin Long Group in Sydney's west has had to agree to a near-doubling of its electricity price, said Graham Lee, national operations manager. The price of the new two-year contract from Origin Energy has surged from $55.30 per megawatt-hour to $109.70 . Aluminium scrap processor Weston Aluminium, which uses about...

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Republicans Who Favored Renewable Energy Got Clobbered in the Midterms

Moderate Republican candidates seem to think they can use energy and environmental issues as a bargaining chip to placate the electorate into giving them their vote, whether that is supporting stupid forms of energy like wind and solar, or opposing natural resource development like mining, but history shows this is a losing strategy....

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High Industrial Electricity Prices Harm Manufacturing Sector

We often hear from so-called progressives that we must fight income inequality and move toward renewable energy, but the problem is these two goals are incompatible with each other. This is because intermittent sources of renewable energy like wind and solar make electricity more expensive, and expensive electricity hurts the blue-collar industries like manufacturing and mining, which use an enormous amount of electricity. Just look at California, which has enacted a 100 percent carbon-free energy mandate that will continue to send electricity prices soaring. In fact, industrial electricity prices in California are nearly twice as high as in the rest of the...

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MPR Covers Impact of Mining on Upcoming Elections: Cites American Experiment Mining Research and Advertising Campaign

MPR recently ran a piece describing the issue of mining may have on the upcoming elections. The story cites our research, and then goes on to describe the positions politicians have staked out on mining, whether for, or against. Last week, when I scheduled this piece to run on our website, I figured this piece would still be timely by today, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources decided to throw a wrench in my plan by granting PolyMet a permit to mine for it's NorthMet project, significantly changing the way mining may impact the way people view the mining issue...

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