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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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Ringing in the New Year with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Energy and Environmental Policy for 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! You may or may not be recuperating from last night's events, but here is a short post on the upcoming, good, bad, and ugly happenings for energy and environmental policy in 2019. The Good: PolyMet PolyMet's NorthMet mining project has cleared all of the regulatory hurdles needed at the state level, leaving a wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the final remaining substantive approval. Thankfully, we have a President in the White House who understands the importance of mining and will not delay the project as long as possible in the regulatory morass, like...

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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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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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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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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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