Local View: A single mining job pays a lifetime of dividends – by Kirk D. Haldorson (Duluth News Tribune – April 2, 2015)


I grew up one of six children here in northern Minnesota, and my father was employed with Reserve Mining in Silver Bay. Growing up in a mining town, I never really thought of mining as anything but a normal, regular industry; and quite possibly I took for granted that it would always be there.

We grew up fishing, camping and swimming in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We grew up planting trees for the U.S. Forest Service to help fund our college. We would plant as many as 200,000 trees a year and spend endless days enjoying the beautiful forests.

Saying all this, I never would support something such as PolyMet Mining if I thought it would harm our environment. I can honestly say there is no one who loves nature and the wilderness more than me. I feel blessed to see some of the trees I planted so many years ago now being harvested for this generation.

We need to either grow it or mine it if northern Minnesota is going to provide for future generations. My parents raised six children, and all six went on to some sort of higher education — all because of one mining job.

All six children went on to get married, and all six children and their spouses currently live, work and pay state income taxes to Minnesota — all due to one mining job.

My parents were blessed to have eight grandchildren. All of these grandchildren have married, and all of the grandchildren and their spouses currently live, work and pay state income taxes in this state — again, all due to one mining job.

I have owned my own company in Duluth since September 1992. I have employees and currently pay in a tremendous amount of state income taxes. I have put two children through college, with one currently attending the University of Minnesota. One additional child most likely will attend a university within the state. Again, all of this is due to one mining job.

My brother lives in Minneapolis and has created a company that provides well over 100 high-paying engineering jobs. His company builds grain elevators and other things all over the world, including at Cargill Inc. — all due to one mining job.

Just think about how many of us were brought up in a similar way. If our father had lost that one mining job, we would have had to move away when I was still young. I am quite sure none of us would be living in Minnesota now, paying taxes, and raising the next generations to live in this great state.

I support mining, specifically PolyMet Mining. We all use the metals PolyMet proposes to mine in our daily lives. I think that, as a state, we have to support the efforts of mining these metals in a responsible nature that will support our future generations to be able to work, pay taxes, and raise their families in this wonderful state.

Never underestimate the power of one mining job.

Kirk D. Haldorson of Duluth runs Haldorson and Pincombe Investment Advisors, a 23-year-old firm.

For the original source of this article, click here: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/opinion/local-view/3713953-local-view-single-mining-job-pays-lifetime-dividends