Thanks to Twin Metals-Minnesota’s FOIA request and the Ely Echo’s investigative reporting, Becky Rom was caught lying about her organization’s role in proposing a programmatic environmental impact statement, aka a PEIS. Here’s the key part of the Echo’s reporting:

So we called Rom and asked her if she or any of the groups she is affiliated with formally requested a PEIS from the Forest Service. As a former attorney, Rom is skilled at not answering questions. So we pressed and pressed some more. Here’s the best of answers we could get:

  1. “I’ve encouraged the agencies to do what’s required under the law and using the best science.”
  2. “Nobody is pushing for an extra layer or extra delays or costs or more money. I’m just saying this is really important and doing right is following the law and basing decisions on the best science.”
  3. “I did not pen any letter but I’ve had these discussions.”
  4. “As far as I know there’s no formal process for a request like a petition.”

We specifically asked if Rom had approached U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie (who oversees the USFS).

“I never talked about this to Mr. Bonnie.”

We put a phone call into the USFS office in Duluth but weren’t able to get any answers prior to deadline on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend.

We checked the news releases of the various groups who have been accused of asking for the PEIS and found nothing. Nobody wants to claim they asked for this. Then, late Thursday a Freedom of Information Act request by Twin Metals-Minnesota was granted. Upon request, they shared those documents with us. If anyone would like a copy, just send us an email.

In the documents provided by the Bureau of Land Management was a letter asking for the PEIS. The agency requesting the PEIS? Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness. And who is the vice-chair of NEMW? Becky Rom.NEMW and Conservation Minnesota have both lied to Minnesotans about precious metals mining. Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton has sat idly by while CM, NEMW and other militant environmental activist organizations have spread their lies in their attempt to stop the PolyMet and Twin Metals-Minnensota mining projects dead in their tracks.

Gov. Dayton has tried walking the same perilous political tightrope that Sen. Franken is attempting to navigate. He’s tried to say as little as possible in his attempt to keep the miners and environmental activists on his side. For those who haven’t paid attention to this issue, miners and environmental activists interact together like oil and water.

Several times, Gov. Dayton delayed action on mining leases. State Auditor Rebecca Otto sent out a fundraising appeal after the Executive Council voted to delay approval of mining leases. In that fundraising appeal, Otto bragged how she stood up to the miners.

While Gov. Dayton wasn’t foolish enough to do that, he did vote against approving the leases. That clearly demonstrates who he’s sided with on mining. Here’s what Kent Kaiser wrote about Gov. Dayton’s delaying tactics:

This month, Minnesota’s State Executive Council, which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor, voted to delay 77 leases to explore for copper and nickel on private lands in northern Minnesota. This short-sighted action was initiated by Gov. Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

If Gov. Dayton won’t actively side with the miners against these dishonest environmental activists, then it’s time that Iron Rangers help elect a pro-mining governor and pro-mining senators.

I wrote here how important this issue is to the mining families of St. Louis County. If Gov. Dayton doesn’t change direction on this important issue soon, he should be fired this November.

Hard working Iron Range families can’t wait.

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