Walz administration’s ‘Green New Permitting’ rules would harm Minnesota mining

The Walz administration is seeking to unilaterally impose new regulations that will add more bureaucratic red tape for Minnesota iron ore and copper-nickel mining operations. You can tell the administration that you oppose these new regulations by signing our petition.

These regulations would force project proposers to calculate their expected greenhouse gas emissions as part of the environmental review process. While the new mandates would add significant costs, the bigger problem is that it would open the door to frivolous lawsuits from environmental special interest groups who want to weaponize the environmental review process to kill mining projects with endless litigation.

This is the same playbook activists used to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. Unfortunately, these regulations will give anti-mining special interest groups more power to weaken the United States and make us more reliant upon foreign sources of minerals.

Another problem with the rules is that they will make the permitting process even more politicized in the future by allowing projects to be approved or denied based on their potential greenhouse gas emissions.

Using greenhouse gas emissions as a reason to approve or deny a project is problematic because these emissions are a global phenomenon. This means an increase from a mining project in Minnesota will be small within the broader global context. As a result, the ultimate decision as to whether a new mining project is “worth the emissions” will be highly subjective. 

Ironically, these regulations could result in an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions because China and India are major producers of iron ore, and China is opening mines for copper, nickel and cobalt throughout the world.

China and India are also building massive fleets of new coal plants, and China already uses much more coal than the entire United States, let alone Minnesota.

As a result, Minnesota regulators could be increasing global emissions by denying projects at home. This is why it is better to conduct mining projects in our backyard, where we have strong protections for workers and the environment.

Obsessing over Minnesota’s emissions while ignoring the global context is a recipe for outsourcing our high-paying mining jobs and weakening our communities while resulting in a net increase in emissions. This is why we are asking as many people as possible to sign our petition saying NO! to these “Green New Permitting” rules.