Sulfide mining: the most fateful decision Minnesota will ever make – by C.A. Arneson (Minn – December 12, 2017)

On Nov. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017 (HR 3115) [PDF], facilitating perpetual pollution of Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Sponsored by Rep. Rick Nolan, HR 3115 has been received in the U.S. Senate; if attached to another bill it could slide through, selling Minnesota’s birthright to the highest bidder with scarcely a whimper.

If it passes the U.S. Senate, HR 3115 would exchange lands acquired for watershed protection for use by the most water polluting industry on the planet. It would render the pending lawsuits against the PolyMet land exchange for its proposed NorthMet mine null and void, the people’s right to seek justice in the courts stolen.

Where is the outrage? Minnesotans need to speak loudly, clearly – with the ballot if necessary – declaring they will not allow their representatives to turn our lake country into a sulfide mining cesspool. Water is becoming desperately scarce worldwide. Minnesota’s clean – incredibly rare – wealth of freshwater is its future.

Two days after passing HR 3115, the U.S. House passed HR 3905, “Minnesota’s Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act [PDF],” sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer, Rep. Colin Peterson, and Rep. Jason Lewis (none of whom were elected by the people of the 8th Congressional District).

HR 3905 delves even deeper into political and corporate machinations. By sponsoring federal legislation that would enable the sulfide mining industry to essentially call the shots in Minnesota, Emmer is showing how little he cares about process, or about all Minnesotans.

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