OPINION: ‘Green’ energy relies on copper-nickel mining – by Jeremy Munson (Minneapolis Star Tribune – December 11, 2019)


Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal, is a member of the Minnesota House.

Gov. Tim Walz’s mandates on electric vehicles and his push for 100% “green” energy represent a government takeover of energy, furthering an agenda of science deniers.

Make no mistake, this is an admirable goal. However, I am a lawmaker who embraces both science and reason, and these proposals are rooted in neither. Unlike many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I am not a science denier when it comes to green energy.

Last winter, I approached hundreds of green energy demonstrators in the State Capitol rotunda and spoke to a group carrying signs demanding electric vehicles mandates. I introduced myself and thanked them for supporting the PolyMet copper-nickel mine.

Their response was that nickel mining has destroyed the environment and cannot be done safely. Imagine their look of confusion when confronted with the fact that nickel is the No. 1 ingredient in electric car batteries — comprising 65% of its material. The Tesla Model X? Three hundred forty pounds of nickel per car. How about those electric city and school buses environmentalists love? Twelve hundred fifty pounds of nickel per battery.

What else is in lithium-ion batteries? Cobalt, lots of it. Most of it comes from the Congo, mined by 40,000 child laborers, which compassionate Minnesotans refer to as child slave labor. The half-million gallons of water needed to refine one ton of lithium takes over a year to evaporate from holding ponds. Once evaporated, these holding ponds become toxic messes.

For the rest of this article: http://www.startribune.com/green-energy-relies-on-copper-nickel-mining/566105561/

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