Sadly, six mayors from the Iron Range and Two Harbors declared their political support for President Donald Trump and Rep. Pete Stauber, apparently hoping an alliance will help grease the regulatory skids to facilitate sulfide mining for Twin Metals and PolyMet (“Iron Range mayors pitch Trump with Pence,” Aug. 28). Clearly, they feel bound to promote a so-called mining way of life. But that is not an entitlement to promote mining no matter what.
The DFL is trying to envision a more constructive and sustainable way of life for the Range, based not on a copper bullet but on broadband technology, entrepreneurial business, wood pellets and not paper, and the region as a center for Midwest summer and winter recreation (“DFL committee adopts resolution calling for moratorium on copper-nickel mining, again exposing rift within party,” Sept. 5). This will not happen if the prevailing attitude is keeping all eggs in the mining basket.
The bait for this unequal deal is an inflated promise of jobs with no guarantee they won’t be replaced by automation and leachate from depleted mines and tailings piles (dry or wet) that pose an environmental threat for generations, if not forever.
Democrats support iron mining. Abandoned iron mines become trout lakes. Will sulfide mines?
Also, the argument that Minnesota has better governing regulations is meaningless. Companies will mine wherever they can profit while obeying the minimum required by law. Higher standards will not forestall mining in less-regulated places.
If these mayors wish to promote jobs, let them tell their Republican friends who are averse to wearing masks that there are many projects in the state bonding bill that would put Minnesotans to work across the state.
Democrats have worked for generations to support the well-being of the Iron Range, which Republicans cannot equally claim. Democrats will continue to work for the sustainable well-being of the Range without numbly embracing the long-term consequences of sulfide mining.