Reader's View: Biden delivers blow to Iron Range
The process for both Twin Metals and PolyMet should be allowed to continue, as science proves it can.
The administration of President Joe Biden took severe action detrimental to the city of Babbitt and the entirety of the Iron Range region. The Department of Interior’s rescinding of Twin Metals leases threatens a 20-year wait (“Biden administration pauses new copper-nickel leases near Boundary Waters,” Oct. 20).
The state of Minnesota has an opportunity to blaze the way for the state, nation, and the world as a leader in environmentally safe mining. The Biden administration’s decision pulls the rug out from under our feet. The proud people of the Iron Range have been mining here for more than 150 years, and we still maintain some of the nation’s cleanest waters. If we are to follow the science, as has been consistently pushed, Twin Metals should be allowed to continue the process. Science is right, is it not?
The Pentagon itself made a statement calling for more U.S. mines to meet demand. The Duluth Complex contains 95% of our nation’s nickel, yet the Biden administration halted the potential for Twin Metals to supply the high-demand mineral for today's green energy. This action leaves the U.S. to rely on foreign imports, some from adversarial nations which use child labor and do not implement environmental safety regulations. They certainly do not care about the United States. Consequently, the U.S. is left in a vulnerable position. We are only aiding them to grow, certainly not looking out for the environment.
The U.S. was, at one time, considered a leader. The process for both Twin Metals and PolyMet should be allowed to continue, as science proves it can.
This was a grave day indeed for the more than 78,000 citizens in northern Minnesota. I’m frightened to see what’s next for our region and our nation.
The writer is mayor of Babbitt.
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