WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) responded to the latest effort to end mining in northern Minnesota.
Congressman Emmer said, “Despite my colleagues doubt in their fellow Minnesotans, we can and will responsibly develop our state’s resources - bringing jobs back to this region - while preserving the forests, lakes and streams that all Minnesotans hold dear. This bill has nothing to do with protecting the Boundary Waters - it has to do with an agenda to end economic development in Minnesota. It restricts Minnesota's rights to its own land and tells the residents across our state that they cannot possibly find a way to develop their economy while also protecting the environment.
Emmer added, “The overbearing, anti-mining political agenda has shown the people of Northern Minnesota that their voice does not matter. It’s especially disappointing that my colleagues won't let science determine the proper way to protect these lands. I encourage the sponsors of this bill – especially those who are not from our state - to start listening to the hardworking voices of the Minnesota’s Iron Range and stop these efforts.
Emmer concluded, “Our state and local economies deserve to prosper, and we can ensure that while protecting Minnesota’s beauty for future generations. When it comes to preserving the environment and developing our economic resources, nobody does it better than Minnesota."
Congressman Stauber stated, “I am absolutely outraged to hear another harmful piece of legislation has been introduced to reinstate a mineral withdrawal in the Superior National Forest, once again attempting to place this vast, mineral-rich area off-limits. The highly partisan ‘study’ implemented by the Obama Administration is nothing more than a political tool and delay tactic designed by anti-mining environmentalists who wish to paint mining projects in northern Minnesota as bad for the environment.
Stauber continued, “In northern Minnesota, mining is our past, our present, and our future. For decades, we have responsibly mined under the strongest environmental and labor standards in the world and we will continue this proud tradition in order to develop the resources necessary for renewable energy, national security, and everyday life. This utter disregard for our way of life is insulting.
Stauber concluded, “It is unfortunate that some of my colleagues continue to treat northern Minnesota as a playground to spend their weekends, rather than an area where people actually live, work, and raise their families. Make no mistake, this legislation is an attack on our way of life as it intends to rob many of my constituents of their livelihoods. I will fight this attempt at killing mining jobs in my district every step of the way. I’m confident that, with the support of the Trump Administration, our way of life will prevail.”
With days remaining in the Obama Administration, then-President Obama withdrew approximately a quarter-million acres in the Superior National Forest from mining. After 15 months of careful, scientifically-driven consideration and study, President Trump rightfully canceled this withdraw and reinstated the long-held mineral leases this past March.
Congressman Emmer and Stauber have protected the science-based environmental permitting process by previously defeating numerous similar attempts to undermine jobs in northern Minnesota and subvert the environmental review process. None of these attempts are part of standard environmental regulations.