It’s indisputable that the Twin Cities DFL has repeatedly voted repeatedly to kill precious metals mining projects in Ely and Hoyt Lakes. It’s indisputable that Iron Range DFL legislators didn’t criticize the State Executive Council when they shafted miners this week. They’ve tried spinning their votes in a variety of ways but the truth is inescapable: the metro DFL hates mining and will go to extraordinary lengths to stop future mining projects from becoming reality.
It isn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton voted to shaft the miners. As Prof. Kent Kaiser highlighted in an op-ed over a year ago, Gov. Dayton has a history of shafting miners:
Indeed, Dayton’s actions this month were more consistent with his actions two decades ago. At that time, when he was on the State Executive Council as state auditor, he called for the postponement of mining lease votes so he could consult first with the Sierra Club.
While Gov. Dayton’s actions throughout history have been disgusting, they pale in comparison to what he’s done, with the help of the DFL’s militant environmentalist allies, to miners and the Iron Range.
After the 2010 U.S. Census, it was noted that the median household income for St. Louis County, which is the heart of the Iron Range, was $44,941, compared with the statewide average of $57,243. That’s a $12,302 disparity between St. Louis County and the statewide average. It gets worse when compared against Sherburne County’s median household income, which is $71,704, a disparity of $26,763.
It isn’t just the income disparity that paints the truth about the DFL. It’s the fact that the Twin Metals project in Ely and the PolyMet project in Hoyt Lakes would create 1,000 high-paying mining jobs that would end that income disparity while dramatically lifting Iron Range’s economy from mediocre to exceptional.
Notice that I said those project would create 1,000 mining jobs. That’s before factoring in the support jobs those operations would require. That’s before factoring in the possibility of manufacturing operations moving into cities like Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Eveleth to take advantage of the minerals.
That’s before talking about how other mining projects would boost school funding through mining leases in the school land swap areas that the DFL and their militant environmentalist allies are preventing. Some estimates say that these projects could add $2,000,000,000 to the school trust fund over the life of those mining operations.
The clear message from Conservation Minnesota and Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is that precious metal mining is a different, more environmentally unsafe, type of mining. Kennecott has a sterling reputation for limiting and reducing emissions. While this video is of their mining operation in Utah, they were good stewards of their Flambeau River mining operation in Wisconsin. Here’s what their Flambeau River mine:
This link includes an aerial photo of what the Flambeau Mine looks like 16 years after it ceased operations.
Conservation Minnesota, another subsidiary of the Dayton Politics family of political operations, talks the environmentalist talk. Kennecott walks the environmentalist walk.
It’s clear that Kennecott is the real steward of the land.
Tags: Conservation Minnesota, Alida Messinger, Sierra Club, Mark Dayton, Environmentalists, DFL, Kennecott Mining, Daybreak, Utah, Flambeau River, Wisconsin, Twin Metals, PolyMet, Minnesota, Conservationists, Median Household Income, Jobs