Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) joined his colleague Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) at the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee Hearing on H.R. 5598, the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act. This legislation, if enacted, would circumvent the current environmental review process for mineral development and permanently withdraw 234,328 acres of federal land and waters in the Superior National Forest in Northern Minnesota.
Following this hearing, Congressman Emmer issued the following statement:
Emmer stated, "This bill is the largest obstruction of our existing environmental standards to date. Placing an arbitrary, permanent ban on the way of life for generations of Minnesotans to further a political agenda is pitiful. This bill, at its core, relies on fear. Fear that the environmental review process that has produced 130 years of clean air, water, and land in the area may fail. Fear that thousands of Minnesotans won’t care for their own backyard. Fear that environmental protection and economic development cannot occur simultaneously."
"What proponents of H.R. 5598 fail to acknowledge is that currently, prior to the approval of any mining or mineral development project - and before a shovel even hits the ground - the project in question will have completed a stringent environmental review process. These reviews can take decades to plan and execute and must be done in accordance with the appropriate environmental and permitting regulations. Undermining this established process with an arbitrary withdrawal is short sighted and a slight to thousands of hardworking men and women in Minnesota." Emmer concluded.