Center Report Ramps Up Debate Over Benefits of Environmentally Responsible Mining

American Experiment’s newly released report on the statewide benefits of environmentally responsible mining of Minnesota’s world-class mineral resources continues to attract media attention. Over the weekend, Forum Communications newspapers all over the state published a column highlighting our ground-breaking report, along with a Harvard paper on the benefits of tourism.

A conservative Minnesota think tank says copper and nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is safe and good for the economy, while a Harvard professor says that economic boost would sour in a few years.

A pair of reports that came out in recent days arrived as political campaigns are heating up in advance of the Nov. 6 general election, providing fuel for candidates to debate an issue that already is controversial.

Our report’s release kicks off a statewide campaign aimed at informing Minnesotans on the extraordinary impact environmentally responsible resource development will have on the state’s economy–an estimated $3.7 billion a year and some 8,500 jobs.

“We need these minerals,” think tank president John Hinderaker said, for heavily used items such as smartphones. “Who is going to do it … with more environmental sensitivity than Minnesota?”

Hinderaker said the center does not call for shortcuts in federal and state environmental studies.

“We really want to get popular support behind the idea that we need to develop these resources,” he said.

Besides copper and nickel, Hinderaker and Isaac Orr of the center say the Iron Range also has major amounts of cobalt and a critical ingredient for titanium.

The Center’s statewide campaign includes billboards, radio and television commercials, while the report can be downloaded along with a fact sheet at our new website. It’s time to have an honest and open debate on the responsible development of Minnesota’s resources. Join the conversation and let us know if you see one of our billboards in your community!