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Where does Franken stand on PolyMet?

In January, following a public meeting in Duluth about PolyMet’s plans to mine for copper and other precious metals near Minnesota’s Iron Range, the News Tribune editorial board asked U.S. Sen. Al Franken his position on the project. Here’s what he said:

“I would love if it goes through this process and it’s determined scientifically that we can mine these essential minerals safely and mitigate any problems caused to our water. That would be wonderful. And I like the process that’s in order. I think the meeting (in Duluth) was great. I wasn’t there but every report … I got from my staff was that it was remarkably civil and that the agencies were incredibly well-prepared. And that this is like exactly what it’s supposed to be.

“They’re working all together, the lead agencies. … They should have their act together. … I have a lot of confidence in the process. … I don’t think anyone wants this to be Hatfields and McCoys. I think they want us to decide this based on science, and you know no one would be happier than me if the science shows that we can do this.

“You know, you can’t have a zero degree of risk. Nothing has a zero degree of risk. You have to have an acceptable level of risk with an acceptable timeframe and at an acceptable cost to the benefit that you get.”