When the Ely Echo caught environmental activist Becky Rom lying, they exposed the tactics environmental activists use in thwarting honest reviews of the mining process.

Since he’s taken office, Sen. Franken hasn’t stood with the miners in any meaningful way. He’s issued wishy-washy statements like this:

“Mining is a great Minnesota tradition, and so is protection of our environment and natural resources,” he said. “There’s no question that we need to take into account the environmental impact of any proposed project, but Minnesota and the federal government already have rigorous processes in place to make sure that happens. There’s no reason to have an overly burdensome process. I’ve been talking with the Forest Service about this issue and I will continue to engage them.”

Predictably, Sen. Franken has taken an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand approach while attempting to walk a perilous political tightrope.

Now that Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and Conservation Minnesota have been exposed as dishonest, it’s time for Sen. Franken to start taking the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects seriously. Thus far, Sen. Franken has taken an arms-length approach to those important projects.

There are some issues that are routine. Senators and congressmen handle them with little fanfare. Thus far, Sen. Franken has taken that approach to Twin Metals and PolyMet. Those projects shouldn’t be treated routinely because they’re the difference between St. Louis County’s median household income and Minnesota’s median household income is $12,895 a year, with St. Louis County, the heart of the Iron Range, getting the shaft without getting the mines. In 2008-2012, 11.2% of Minnesotans lived below the poverty line. In St. Louis County, that percentage was 16.1%. That means St. Louis County’s percentage of people living below the poverty line was 43.75% higher than Minnesota’s poverty rate.

I might say that that’s unacceptable but that’s too mild. The difference in the quality of life between St. Louis County and the state of Minnesota is disgusting and totally preventable. It’s only preventable, though, if Sen. Franken stands up to the Becky Roms of the world. It’s only preventable if Sen. Franken substantively stands with the hard working people of the Range.

If he won’t substantively stand with the Range, then we’ll find someone who will. I’ll have more on that in a later post in this series.

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6 Responses to “Environmental activist caught lying, Part II”

  • Rex Newman says:

    I chanced to hear Becky Rom make her “Sustainable Ely” presentation recently. She’s an excellent presenter, I’ll give her that. And I can’t blame her much for trying to hold on to the Ely that once was, however futile. But her fibbing goes beyond what you and the Ely Echo found out.

    Her OMG! science is faulty, claiming that runoff of sulfur bearing compounds will magically form sulfuric acid. I remember enough Chemistry to know that would require considerable energy (several hundred degrees hot) as a quick Google search confirmed. That’s what makes a lead-acid car battery work, drawing down the stored energy in the acid. She also gave no information on the concentration nor how much naturally must certainly seep out from rainfall.

    She also kept talking of Ely needing a “sustainable” economy of permanent jobs, not temporary mining jobs that last only 20-30 years. Just what those “good” jobs are she doesn’t say, but I bet it’s the same “education and health care” model I’ve heard other Greater Minnesota politicians claim is their towns’ future. No, education and health care are secondary industries, supported by primary industries like agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and yes, mining. It doesn’t seem that long ago that liberals hated the service-based economy, wailing that we can’t just press each other’s pants. Oh, but we can just educate each other’s children or take turns healing each other.

    The Ely Echo exactly summarized this presentation I saw, that as regards mining, “[for] Rom it can’t be done. Ever. Period.”

  • Nancy McReady says:

    Becky Rom’s issues are apparent from this reporting, but where does Conservation Minnesota fit in? Last I saw, she had nothing to do with that group. Hate on them all you want, but if we start being deceptive in how we describe mining opponents, we lose the high ground that Becky was so nice to surrender to us with her deceptive acts.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Conservation Minnesota created a website called MiningTruth.org. Here’s one of the lies on MiningTruth’s website:

    No sulfide mine has ever operated without polluting its nearby waters.

    That’s a lie. I exposed that lie in this post:

    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.

    Conservation Minnesota didn’t lie about the PEIS but they lied about precious metals mines polluting the land.

  • Nancy McReady says:

    So, more accurately, the answer is no, they have nothing to do with Becky Rom. Your desire to tar and feather them is admirable. But in this case, it comes off as a major over reach. There are plenty of facts here to guide your reporting…

  • Gary Gross says:

    My intent was to show that there’s a network within the DFL that actively supports the anti-mining agenda. If I overreached, then I apologize. What I won’t apologize for, however, is exposing that network.

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