Mining Threat

After doing considerable research and advocating against sulfide mining in Northeast Minnesota my conviction that this would be bad for all of St. Louis County and the West Duluth District has only been strengthened. 

Sulfide Mining-highly subsidized

Sulfide mining will cost St. Louis County hundreds of millions in lost revenue before a shovel is even put in the ground. This is an industry that has been subsidized by the hoarding of land for nearly free leasing to mining companies for exploration. St. Louis County currently owns 930,000 acres. In addition the State of Minnesota holds hundreds of thousands of acres of severed mineral interests which devalue land. All of this withheld interest does not pay taxes, restricts revenue, and transfers the cost of government to you. We need to allow for increased revenue and simply picking at the size of the county budget is penny wise and pound foolish.

Dangerous to our health

Copper-Nickel/Sulfide Mining will put toxic heavy metals in Duluth area drinking water that cannot be filtered out. Nickel Sulfate, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel(II)_sulfate, is one of these. It is a class one carcinogen, highly soluble, and cannot be filtered because its molecular size when ionized from AMD is smaller than water. The solubility will keep it in a solution with water long enough to get downstream. These additional health care cost will restrict economic development and damage the quality of our workforce.

Devalues property

A large portion of the property values in St. Louis County are from highly desirable lake front property. Contamination of these lakes and the threat of contamination will result in a loss of revenue for the county by devaluing this property. This will result in the largest transfer of property wealth since the Black Hills were taken from the Sioux Indians in South Dakota. It is an injustice.

Won’t produce good jobs

In Chile where Twin Metals primary partner Antofagasta does their usual business 34 people die in that country each year alone from mining accidents.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2010/10/14/chile-mine-safety-104.html

Chris Dahlberg-Out of touch

Chris Dahlberg voted against the three area Duluth County Board Members in supporting a resolution in favor of sulfide mining and accused the Duluth area legislators of being “intoxicated” when they voted against legislation that would erode environmental standards in favor of sulfide mining.

http://www.miningminnesota.com/uploads/Mesabi_Daily_News_Editorial_Polymet_3_19_11.pdf

Why?

Environmental Organizations-Out of touch

Most environmental organizations are headquartered in the twin cities. They are primarily representative of twin cities interests. We need to all step up for our own protection. We need to have representatives willing to say hell no to lobbyists. We need to lobby the legislature ourselves.

My own story I would like to relate is my attempt to protect St. Louis River water from mining by joining the St. Louis Bay Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. I joined out of my concern that mine pollution would poison migratory ducks and further reduce their population. I was removed from the volunteer fundraising committee after expressing my concerns and upon a complaint by the superintendent for maintaining the LTV plant, who was also on the committee, to twin cities Ducks Unlimited persons who contacted me about my removal from the committee. I am actually unaware of any meaningful conservation effort by DU. I do know they received 4.49 million dollars from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund for wetland and shallow lake conservation. What are they conserving in Minnesota?

This is the problem. The best jobs in mining are and will be in the twin cities. Jobs with self serving environmental organizations and in government agencies doing nothing!

 Not a Partisan Issue

Contemporary republicans are out of touch with the Republican Party including Richard Nixon who signed into law the Clean Water Act, Ronald Reagan who signed into law the nations toughest environmental laws, and Governor Tommy Thompson (also former national Secretary of Health and Human Services) in Wisconsin who signed into law the Wisconsin mining moratorium law. Since when have republicans supported make work programs like sulfide mining?
 
Threat to Logging and Paper Making Industry
 
The draw down in water tables by mining as a result of pumping water out of mines will not only kill existing trees that the forest service is preparing for by stockpiling its drought tolerant seed stock of Jack Pine, it will lead to dry conditions that will lead to the burning of the Superior National Forest and BWCA. Job losses in logging and paper making will follow.
 
For More Information on Sulfide Mining
 
See http://www.sosbluewaters.org/ . For the economics of mining read Tom Powers report at that site. Please note it is technically incorrect to call sulfide mining nonferrous because every sulfide/copper-nickel ore body contains iron.
 

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