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Reader's View: Clean-car rule encourages child labor

The problem of child labor in foreign countries is clearly already bad enough, but with the combination of liberal policies restricting Minnesota mining and the incentivizing of cobalt, Gov. Walz has just made this huge problem even worse.

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Minnesota just became the 15th clean-car state in America. In a statement explaining everything that is so good about these new stricter standards, Gov. Tim Walz said they are “protecting our environment for future generations” (Opinion: “ Minnesota now a 'clean-car' state: 4 takes,” July 28).

What Gov. Walz seems to be ignoring is the present generation of children in foreign countries who will suffer the consequences of these new mandates right away.

As the Minnesota governor continues to restrict mining in his own state, he has further incentivized the need for mining by adopting California’s standards for tailpipe emissions and a mandate for more zero-emission vehicles on sales lots. These liberal policies that are meant to protect the environment are actually fueling the problem of dangerous child labor in foreign countries that can supply the needed cobalt to meet the demand created by Democrats in America. The Dominican Republic of Congo, one of the world’s poorest countries, is home to two-thirds of all the cobalt in the world. An article from the World Economic Forum says that in Congo, “children as young as 10 are involved in cobalt mining, earning as little as $3.50-$10 a day for the dangerous and dirty work.” Their work consists of digging underground, washing the potentially hazardous cobalt, and going into mines without structural support.

The problem of child labor in foreign countries is clearly already bad enough, but with the combination of liberal policies restricting Minnesota mining and the incentivizing of cobalt, Gov. Walz has just made this huge problem even worse.

Wade Fremling

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Saginaw


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Related Topics: MININGTIM WALZ
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