Archive for the ‘Mining’ Category

After reading this article, I wasn’t surprised to find Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s tweet:


The article that Sen. Gazelka linked to is hostile to the Iron Range way of life. It essentially says that the metro DFL wants Iron Rangers to live in poverty:

Last weekend, the DFL party officially adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium banning copper-nickel mining projects in Minnesota, according to the DFL Environmental Caucus’s Facebook page. The move is the latest sign that the policies endorsed by the party are moving further toward the agenda’s of urban environmentalists and further away from the rural roots of the party that support farmers and laborers.

Democrats insist that they are the party that insists on following the science. That’s a lie. They’ve said that it’s impossible to safely mine precious metals. I wrote this post in 2013. Here’s the major takeaway of the post:

In 1936, Kennecott constructed evaporation ponds to store and evaporate mine water originating from the Bingham Canyon watershed. Over time, additional ponds were constructed to increase capacity, and the area became known as the South Jordan Evaporation Ponds (SJEP). The ponds were used for mine water until 1965 and for periodic storage of runoff water until 1987. SJEP use was discontinued in 1987.

Studies in the early 1990s concluded that there were elevated levels of heavy metals in the soil where the holding ponds had been located. Kennecott took responsibility for the impacts and agreed to reclaim and remediate the SJEP area. The removal work was undertaken pursuant to an EPA Administrative Order on Consent (AOC).

A massive clean-up operation began in 1994 involving the removal of pond sediment and six additional inches of underlying native soil. The material removed from Daybreak was permanently relocated to the Kennecott Blue Water Repository as part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) clean up. At this time, some sediment, with a low concentration of lead and arsenic but an elevated sulfate concentration were consolidated onsite and capped with topsoil and re-vegetated. In 2001, the EPA issued a Record of Decision stating that the removal action adequately satisfied the remedial objectives and EPA determined that no further action was required. An Operation and Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan) was established to address
further management of the consolidation site.

Pursuant to agreements between the EPA, UDEQ and Kennecott, Kennecott began removing the remaining sediments at the consolidation site under the guideline of the O&M Plan. In 2006, Kennecott, the EPA and the UDEQ entered into an agreement solidifying the unrestricted residential and commercial use clean-up standards for the entire site.

In early 2007, the consolidated pond sediment removal project was completed. In 2008, the EPA and UDEQ issued a Consent Decree for the ground water cleanup efforts.

In other words, the DFL is the party of science except if it gets in the way of their political agenda. That isn’t intellectually consistent. The DFL knows about this. Kennecott’s example has been thrown in their face multiple times.

Not only does the party platform now officially oppose copper-nickel mining, something mining supporters have long suspected, but it also calls for increasing the use of wind and solar, which require enormous amounts of copper, nickel, and cobalt. The platform also opposes nuclear power, which along with hydroelectric power are the only sources of reliable carbon-free electricity.

How do you rely on wind and solar energy without the raw materials to make wind turbines or solar panels? Does the DFL think that these materials just miraculously appear at the manufacturing plant when they’re needed?

Iron Rangers appear to be figuring things out. They’re realizing that this is what’s happening:

It’s time for Tom Bakk and the rest of the Iron Range DFL delegation to flip the metro DFL the bird. The metro DFL doesn’t care about Iron Rangers’ families. Republicans share their priorities. Susan Kent and Ryan Winkler don’t.

Last week, 6 DFL mayors issued a statement that they were endorsing President Trump’s re-election. This week, 3 of those mayors officially endorsed Jason Lewis’s US Senate campaign. While both gentlemen still face uphill fights to win a statewide election in Minnesota, the odds keep improving.

One of the mayors that’s endorsed both the Trump-Pence ticket and Jason Lewis is Babbitt Mayor Andrea Zupancich. She joined with Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe and Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich in a roundtable discussion with Lewis. After the event, Lewis said “I’ve been on the Iron Range countless times since launching our campaign a year ago and I’m proud to be back today chatting with outstanding leaders like these Mayors. I am humbled to have the support of Larry, Bob, and Andrea in my campaign to represent Minnesotans and the Iron Range in the United States Senate. It speaks volumes about how radical Democrats in D.C. and St. Paul have become when even lifelong Democrats here on the Iron Range are willing to stand up and endorse Republicans for federal offices.”

Mayor Zupancich was interviewed by Tammy Bruce Thursday night. Bruce was filling in for Laura Ingraham. Here’s that interview:

It’s long past time for the Iron Range to flip from bright blue to red. The DFL is controlled by the Metro DFL, which means anti-mining environmental activists. The DFL’s anti-mining activist wing of the party hate Iron Rangers. They tolerate Iron Rangers only to have a chance of holding House or Senate gavels.

This article highlights part of the letter endorsing President Trump:

“Today, we don’t recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left, it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class. The hard-working Minnesotans that built their lives and supported their families here on the Range have been abandoned by radical Democrats. We didn’t choose to leave the Democratic Party, the party left us.”

President Reagan once historically said that he didn’t leave the Democrats, that they’d left him. The DFL isn’t the party representing farmers and laborers. The DFL has become the party that’s dominated by environmental activists and white collar elitists. Republicans now represent farmers and laborers.

I wrote here that President Trump won the 4 rural congressional districts by comfortable margins:

In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 54%-38% margin in Minnesota’s Eighth District. That year, In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 61%-31% margin in Minnesota’s 7th District. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 52%-38% margin in Minnesota’s First District. Finally, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 59%-38% margin in Minnesota’s Sixth District.

It’s time to recognize the GOP as the Blue Collar Party. These Iron Range mayors reflect that change.

To: Iron Range DFL
From: Gary Gross, uppity peasant, patriot & 2A advocate
Subject: Guilt by party affiliation

The blue collar workers that populate the Iron Range DFL have a question that can’t be avoided anymore. In the past, it wasn’t that difficult to justify staying affiliated with the metro DFL. They didn’t like mining, you said, but they tossed the Iron Range DFL delegation a few scraps at the end of the session each year. It’s true that the Metrocrats hated the Second Amendment but they weren’t fanatics about it.

The thinking was that, for the most part, the Metro DFL supported the police. Those rationalizations have disappeared entirely. While there’s still some common sense still found in the Iron Range DFL, that can’t be said of Metro DFL. The Metro DFL is largely represented by people like John Thompson. “John Thompson is running for Minnesota State House District 67A.” This is John Thompson in action:


The lunatic in that video doesn’t resemble the man in this video:

They’re both the same guy. The man in the second video is the fake face of a man who will say anything to win a seat in the Minnesota House. The man in the first video is the real face of the man. The point is that the lunatic that was unleashed in the first tape belongs to the same DFL that the Iron Range DFL belong to.

The Iron Range DFL needs to make a decision fast. When Erik Simonson got thrashed in his SD-7 DFL primary, he didn’t just lose every precinct in his district. He was told by the lunatic fringe of the DFL that blue collar workers weren’t welcome in the DFL anymore.

The question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re ok being treated like dirt by the Metro DFL simply because you want to make living and provide for your family. The Metro DFL have made it exceptionally clear that they have a problem with you making a living. Isn’t it time you flipped the Metro DFL the bird and told them to eff off and die?

Harold Hamilton’s weekly commentary contains some bad news for the DFL. This past Tuesday, while I was paying attention to the national news, DFL primary voters delivered a harsh message to the DFL. First, Hamilton highlights the fact that the “labor wing” of the DFL is persona non grata within the DFL. Hamilton wrote “Start with State Senate District 7, where incumbent Erik Simonson suffered a savage beatdown at the hands of newcomer Jen McEwen. Simonson, a moderate, supported mining and pipelines and frequently crossed party lines. In short, he was an old-school blue-collar Democrat.”

Hamilton continued, writing “Simonson had the backing of nearly the entire constellation of DFL opinion leaders, including Governor Walz and a raft of independent spending on his behalf from unions and other special interest groups. Despite this dynamic, Simonson was crushed 74-23%, losing every single precinct in the district.”

Couple this thorough thrashing with Susan Kent’s defeat of Tom Bakk to become the Senate DFL Leader and it’s exceptionally clear that the Iron Range DFL delegation are welcome only to maintain the chance of putting together a majority. The DFL doesn’t want the Iron Range delegation’s mining agenda.

In House District 59B, Rep. Raymond Dehn was beaten by newcomer Esther Agbaje. Let’s be clear about Rep. Dehn’s liberal, woke street cred. Dehn is a proud ex-con, having done time for a 1976 felony burglary, presumably to feed an admitted cocaine addiction. More importantly, Dehn can rightly proclaim that he was for defunding the police before “defunding the police” became a cause célèbre. Dehn was excoriated for his suggestion to disarm the Minneapolis Police Department, even though he was more than prescient as a liberal standard-bearer. The problem for Ray Dehn, clearly, was that he was the wrong race and color for the Group Identity Mob.

Then there’s this:

In another section of Minneapolis, Senator Jeff Hayden lost his primary to Omar Fateh, a Democrat of a different stripe. Fateh proudly ran against Hayden as a Democrat Socialist. Again, Jeff Hayden wouldn’t be mistaken for a moderate anywhere. He has earned high marks from progressive groups everywhere.

Finally, over in Saint Paul, longtime legislative fixture John Lesch was unceremoniously dumped in the most surprising result of the night, save for Simonson’s beat down.

The thought that Jeff Hayden. Ray Dehn and John Lesch aren’t sufficiently leftist enough in this DFL says everything. When Jeff Hayden isn’t sufficiently left for the activists, that means that major changes are about to happen.

I’m sticking with my prediction that Jeremiah Ellison will be the next mayor of Minneapolis. I’ll further predict that he’ll run the city into the ground. The DFL is at a tipping point. If they don’t return to their blue collar roots, they’ll essentially be an urban party for a generation.

Joe Biden is attempting to look like a leader on the China Virus. It’s failing because he’s proposing to do things that President Trump did months ago. They sound reasonable at first blush. That’s because they’ve been implemented months ago:

The former vice president swung into his spiel: “I talked early on about the Defense [Production] Act” to order companies to manufacture essential items, he said. Mr. Trump invoked the DPA March 27 to force General Motors to step up ventilator production.

Then, Mr. Biden said, “you need more testing.” More than 50 million tests have been conducted in the U.S., 754,858 on Tuesday alone. Next, he said, “insist that everyone wear masks.” The White House Coronavirus Task Force and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on April 3 that everyone wear masks in public.

To help the economy, Mr. Biden proposed to “make sure that people are in a position where they can maintain their businesses.” Mr. Trump signed the Cares Act on March 27, providing $349 billion in partially forgivable small-business loans, later raised to $659 billion. His next idea was to guarantee “no one has to pay for contracting COVID and being treated for COVID.” The Trump administration announced April 3 it would use Cares Act money to pay hospitals that treat uninsured people for Covid-19.

Remember that this Reid-Biden interview happened on July 20. Way to go, Joe. You got around to proposing your China virus plan 3+ months after President Trump implemented this plan. Moving at that speed, we’re sure to defeat the virus before the end of President Trump’s successor’s 2nd term.

With regard to a vaccine, Mr. Biden said it was essential to “have a command officer now . . . to put together exactly how that will be distributed to over 300 million Americans.” Gen. Gustave F. Perna, head of Army Materiel Command, was appointed chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed on May 15 to accelerate vaccine production and distribution.

Again, Biden is late by 2 months. Can’t this guy get anything done fast? I’ll tell you what Biden did in March. We can’t forget this golden oldie:

Joe Biden’s economic plan will produce a recession:

The former vice president’s July 9 economic plan, for example, proposes to raise $3.2 trillion in revenue over the next decade. It would do so by increasing taxes not only on the top 1% but on every American. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation says it “would lead to lower after-tax income for all income levels” and reduce the nation’s gross domestic product.

That’s before Biden would reimpose the industry-crippling regulations that temporarily killed the coal industry and the energy industry. By comparison, President Trump’s policies have made the US the world’s largest producer of energy. We don’t rely on foreign energy anymore.

Another example: Mr. Biden’s July 14 climate plan calls for closing every natural gas and coal-fired power plant within 15 years. They now produce 60% of America’s electricity. It’s probably impossible to achieve, but even trying would raise everyone’s utility bills and endanger millions of jobs in the energy and power sectors.

It’s time to reject this hostage of the far-far-left. We can’t afford his incompetence.

There’s no question whether Joe Biden maintained a reputation for decades as a centrist. That reputation isn’t withstanding the pressure of his latest presidential campaign. Byron York’s article highlights how the Democrats’ presumptive nominee is transforming from a centrist into a leftist.

York’s first example is Biden’s years-long defense of President Obama’s deportation of illegal aliens. In his article, York wrote “Biden has defended the Obama administration’s record on deportations against those on the left who criticized President Barack Obama as the ‘deporter in chief.’ Then came last month’s Nevada caucuses. After ugly losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden was struggling for life in Nevada and trying to appeal to the Hispanic voters who made up a substantial portion of state Democrats. All of a sudden, Biden backtracked on the Obama deportations he used to defend. ‘There were too many,’ Biden told Univision’s Jorge Ramos. ‘I saw the pain in the eyes of so many people who saw their families being deported. I know what it’s like to lose family members. It was painful.'”

Biden’s immigration transformation didn’t stop there, though:

As the Nevada vote neared, Biden promised that if he became president he would not deport anyone, no one, under any circumstances, during his first 100 days in office. After that, Biden said he would deport only those who have committed felonies in the United States. Biden repeated the pledge at his recent debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, his last remaining rival for the nomination.

Think about that, people. A Biden administration promises to not faithfully execute this nation’s laws. In this debate, Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie gave the same answer on whether local communities should turn over illegal immigrants to their administration:

It doesn’t get much more leftist for a Democrat than that. Joe Biden got the reputation of Blue Collar Joe for standing with coal miners, construction workers and blue collar families. Blue Collar Joe doesn’t exist. Here’s proof:

Biden’s centrist-to-leftist transformation is complete.

Now that he’s been dumped by the DFL, people must wonder what’s next for Sen. Tom Bakk. I’ve thought about that subject myself and I’ve reached the conclusion that Sen. Bakk would look fantastic with MNGOP after his name. What’s left within the DFL that fits Sen. Bakk?

It can’t be disputed that:

  1. today’s DFL has decided that Iron Rangers aren’t welcome within the DFL;
  2. today’s DFL is the metrocentric party;
  3. today’s DFL hates pipelines, mining and blue collar workers;
  4. today’s DFL is the gun grabber caucus;
  5. today’s DFL is the party of socialists.

Sen. Bakk, I haven’t always agreed with you but you’ve worked to make PolyMet and Twin Metals a reality. Susan Kent and John Marty won’t help make those things a reality. Paul Gazelka, Kurt Daudt and other Republicans would enthusiastically team with you on those initiatives.

It’s clear that today’s DFL isn’t interested in rural Minnesota. Sen. Bakk, you know this is BS:

“What I know about the DFL Party is that whether in the Senate or in the House or statewide offices, we’re the only party that represents Minnesotans from the Canadian border to Iowa and from the Dakotas to Wisconsin,” Hortman said.

That’s BS on steroids. When’s the last time a metro DFL politician voted for building a pipeline? That’s right, Sen Bakk. It’s been a decade+. Sen Bakk, when’s the last time a metro DFL politician enthusiastically supported precious metals mining? That’s right, Sen Bakk. They’ve never supported precious metal mining. They haven’t even half-heartedly supported precious metal mining.

Sen. Bakk, you have a chance to establish a different legacy for yourself. There’s an opportunity for you to send a signal that you’re an Iron Ranger first, last and always. Think of the message of statesmanship first that fighting for the people, not a political party, would send. That legacy is a powerful thing, something that would permit you to say that people, not party, matter most to you.

Sen. Bakk, it’s time for you to put your constituents, not the DFL, first. Your constituents want to build things, work hard and be rewarded for doing the right thing. Sen. Bakk, you have the opportunity to send a message to metro DFL politicians that the Range fights for Rangers.

Sen. Bakk, carpe diem. Carpe diem.

Salena Zito’s latest reporting from the “middle of somewhere” is the best understanding of what’s actually happening in battleground states. The subject of Ms. Zito’s article is West Virginia as it relates to other battleground states. If you aren’t getting Ms. Zito’s e-updates, it’s time you started. They’re as essential of reading as Kim Strassel’s articles. But I digress.

The key part of the article comes where Ms. Zito writes “No one would argue seriously that West Virginia, where Trump got more than two-thirds of the vote, would ever be in play for the Democrats in 2020. But the story of its sentiments and the evolution of these voters aren’t just limited to within the state’s boundaries. In many ways, especially in their connection to place and their distrust of large government, political, and entertainment institutions, these voters are very similar to voters in rural, suburban, and exurban voters in the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin.”

Then it goes into extended detail:

Tom Maraffa, geography professor emeritus at Youngstown State University, explained that the similarities of the voters in slow-growth metropolitan regions are striking and important to consider when trying to understand trends. He said West Virginians “share that sense of rootedness” with voters “in places like suburban Youngstown, Akron, or Ashtabula, Ohio, or suburban Erie, Pennsylvania, or Macomb County, Michigan, or Kenosha, Wisconsin.”

If Democrats don’t win back these blue collar cities and counties in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, they’ll lose this election. Period. In 2016, President Trump turned Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin from Hillary’s “blue firewall” into red states. Based on what’s happening in West Virginia, that trend is strengthening.

The premise I’m operating from is that this isn’t as much about Democrats vs. Republicans as it is about ultra-liberal nutjobs vs. sane people. Imagine the reaction of people in the audience when Vice President Biden said that coal miners should learn how to program computers:

That video says it all. Those coal miners wouldn’t walk across the street on a sunny day to vote for Biden but they’d sprint across a busy highway in a snowstorm to vote for President Trump. If Vice President Biden thinks that his reputation as a blue collar guy is enough to defeat President Trump, he’s kidding himself. A man whose job is on the verge of disappearing and whose community is falling apart doesn’t care about a politician’s reputation. That miner wants to know, first and foremost, whether that politician will be with them in their foxhole. Those miners and manufacturers know that President Trump will be with them in their foxhole.

That’s the biggest reason why President Trump will win re-election. President Trump told the people of western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan that he’d be their president and that they wouldn’t be forgotten again. That’s powerful stuff to a man who’s worrying about his community, his church and his industry.

According to this article, the DFL’s leadership might become further metrocentric. To those that think that wasn’t possible, that’s understandable. Of the 7-person DFL Senate leadership team, 1 person is from northwest Minnesota (Kent Eken) and another person (Tom Bakk) is from northeast Minnesota. The other 5 people (Susan Kent, who is challenging Bakk for Minority Leader, Jeffrey Hayden, Carolyn Laine, John Hoffman and Ann Rest) are from the Twin Cities. By comparison, the 9-person GOP leadership team represents the entire state.

In particular, Bakk’s positions on northeastern Minnesota mining issues have run afoul of environmentalists who are an important part of the DFL coalition. Kent’s challenge came to light days after Bakk came under fire from environmentalists for telling a group of business and political leaders in Ely that the controversial Twin Metals copper-nickel mine proposal on the Iron Range will not be stopped by a state environmental review. “Now it might take a decade or more,” Bakk said, “but the process isn’t intended to stop projects.”

Bakk’s opposition to stronger gun laws also put him at odds with colleagues from Minneapolis, St. Paul and their suburbs, deepening a long-simmering intraparty rift. Bakk has long been a fixture in the politics of northern Minnesota, a region that was once a DFL stronghold and which has drifted increasingly toward the Republican Party in recent elections.

In other words, Sen. Bakk is too moderate for DFL Metrocrats. DFL Metrocrats passionately hate mining. In fact, the only thing that DFL Metrocrats hate more than mining is the Second Amendment. Apparently, Tom Bakk isn’t leftist enough for the DFL Metrocrats’ liking.

The brewing leadership fight has played out largely out of public view, with several DFL senators declining to comment publicly for this story. It comes as Senate Democrats prepare for a 2020 election cycle in which they will attempt to overturn Republicans’ current 35-32 majority.

With the DFL’s divisions, the DFL should be worried in 2020. DFL turnout in 2018 was almost as high as it is for a presidential election. In 2020, Republican turnout will be higher than it was in 2018. It’ll be difficult for the DFL turnout to be much higher.

This begs the question of whether the DFL can gain seats in either the House or Senate. I wouldn’t bet on it, especially if the DFL essentially tells the Iron Range that they aren’t welcome in the DFL anymore.

Democrats love saying that budgets are moral documents. Democrats then say that budgets reflect our priorities. If that’s true, which I think it kinda is, then Tina Smith’s budget priorities are disgusting. As Minnesota’s junior senator, she’s opposed all projects that would’ve helped the people of northern Minnesota. That isn’t opinion. It’s fact. She’s fought the Line 3 Pipeline. She’s opposed the PolyMet and Twin Metals mining projects.

Just those projects alone would’ve had the opportunity to transform the Iron Range from a region with sky-high poverty rates and a virtually nonexistent middle class into a prospering region of the state. The median household income in Virginia, MN is $36,327, compared with the statewide average of $65,699. The percentage of people living below the Federal Poverty Level in Minnesota is 10.5%, compared with 24% living below the FPL in Virginia, MN.

While visiting southern Minnesota, Sen. Smith said “I think at the end of the day, I’m just thinking about what Minnesotans are thinking about, which is prescription drug costs being too high, how can they get the kind of amazing workforce training that they need to get great jobs like they can get here at Red Wing Shoes, and that’s where I’m going to stay focused as long as I can.”

If Smith was honest, which she isn’t, she’d admit that she’s thinking about what Minnesotans are thinking about as long as they aren’t living in rural Minnesota. That isn’t just true now that she’s a US senator. It was true in her time as Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor. It was true when she was Gov. Dayton’s chief of staff.

Writing off a huge geographical part of the state, including the part that feeds the rest of the state, is disgusting. Still, that’s what Tina Smith is doing. That’s been a staple of her political life for years.

If Smith won’t pay attention to rural Minnesota, she should get fired next November. Tina Smith isn’t about doing the right thing for the entire state. Tina Smith and the DFL is only interested in doing what’s best for the metro DFL. That’s why the DFL has lost the farm vote and the laborer vote. When the Metro DFL unanimously opposes the Line 3 Pipeline, which provides the vast majority of jet fuel for Minneapolis International Airport, they’re saying that serving their special interest masters is more important than doing right by the biggest airport in Minnesota.

How foolish is that? Does that like the decision that a person who is “just thinking about what Minnesotans are thinking?” I’m betting that a significant majority of Minnesotans would disagree with Tina Smith and the Democrats on that issue.

It’s time to fire the DFL, Tina Smith included. The DFL’s priorities, like Tina Smith’s priorities, increasingly aren’t Minnesota’s priorities.