State Sen. David Tomassoni’s op-ed expresses his disgust with Becky Rom and her husband Reid Carron with a sense of humor. This fight started with this article, which includes quotes from Rom and Carron that got under miners’ skin.

Specifically, the quote from Rom that’s bothering Tomassoni and the miners is “Danny Forsman drives to the mine in his truck, comes home and watches TV, and he doesn’t know this world exists.” The quote from Carron that’s got miners upset is “Resentment is the primary driver of the pro-mining crowd here; they are resentful that other people have come here and been successful while they were sitting around waiting for a big mining company. They want somebody to just give them a job so they can all drink beer with their buddies and go four-wheeling and snowmobiling with their buddies, not have to think about anything except punching a clock.”

Sen. Tomassoni’s tongue-in-cheek reply starts with “It came to me as I was sitting on my deck drinking a beer (metal chair, a byproduct of mining; wooden deck, from logging; beer, from hops and grains from farming). I thought, now what’s wrong with sitting on my deck and drinking a beer. Then I thought, I wonder if the anti-mining people have metal chairs on their decks? Maybe they don’t. Maybe they have plastic chairs (that came from drilling oil).”

Tomassoni’s needling continued:

Getting hungry, I came into the house for a BLT. I fried some bacon on a metal stove in a copper lined pan. (Copper pans don’t stick and they clean up in a breeze). The bacon was in my metal refrigerator, which has a cooling element going through copper pipes.

Of course, none of that copper was mined on the Iron Range and anti-mining forces seem content to get their copper from another country that has no environmental, safety laws nor child labor laws. I thought, what’s wrong with this picture?

Great environmental laws, child labor laws and safety regulations are good things. Shouldn’t we be doing the mining where all are enforced?

Sen. Tomassoni finishes Rom and Carron off, saying:

That’s why I’m always puzzled when mining opponents say they will support projects: “If the science proves it safe.”

Well, let’s see:

We have been mining for 135 years in virtually the same area that PolyMet will mine. PolyMet will use a former iron ore mining site to process the ore.
The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board recently published an environmental report card on Minnesota’s statewide water quality. Guess where you’ll find the only area that has really good water? Yup. Right here in Northeastern Minnesota. The heart of mining country IS the Land of Sky Blue Waters. Pretty good science if you ask me.

Rom and Carron aren’t trustworthy people. Rom is especially willing to mislead.

Our history proves we helped America become a global economic powerhouse. We need minerals, paper, lumber and food from our own backyards and we can provide them in a safe and reliable manner.

So, back on my deck with my beer and BLT, I couldn’t help but think that the environmentalists must drink beer too. Maybe even one of those craft beers made in those great big copper vats. But hey, at least we have something in common. Or maybe we have a lot in common as we all need mining and mining jobs.

Apology accepted. Now show me it’s sincere.

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