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How much metal would a Minnesota Green New Deal require?

There is an interesting paradox among liberal environmentalists. One the one hand, they want a Minnesota Green New Deal where all the electricity in the state is provided by a combination of wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage. On the other hand, they oppose mining for copper, nickel, cobalt, and other metals needed to build these energy sources, even though Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped reserves of these metals in the world. Today, we'll conduct a rough estimate of how much metal would be needed to be completely reliant on wind, solar, and battery storage for electricity generation. Assumptions It's important...

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Can Mining in Minnesota Reduce Child Labor in the Congo?

Cobalt has become a controversial topic in the debate over copper nickel mining in Minnesota’s Duluth Complex. This metal, which is used in the lithium ion batteries in laptops, tablets, and electric cars, has become a lighting rod because most of the cobalt produced in the world comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where some of the cobalt is mined using child labor. Virtually everyone has a cellphone, laptop, or tablet that has a battery requiring cobalt. This has led many people to ask the question, can mining in Minnesota reduce the demand for unethically mined cobalt in...

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Sunday Funnies: Rep. Omar Says PolyMet Setback Is a Victory Against Fossil Fuel Executives

Jim Morrison once said “I've noticed that when people are joking they're usually dead serious, and when they're serious, they're usually pretty funny.” This phrase was spot on this week, as my Congresswoman, Ilhan Ohmar, Tweeted out that the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision to send two of PolyMet's permits back to the Department of Natural Resources was "An important victory for the people of Minnesota!" and "This is what happens when communities come together to oppose mining projects that will line the pockets of fossil fuel exces at the expense of our planet." PolyMet will be a copper-nickel mine. The mine...

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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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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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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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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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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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