Political decision on leases for Twin Metals doesn’t hold water

A political decision made in Washington D.C. last week involving leases for Twin Metals Minnesota doesn’t hold water. There is no science, there are no hard facts, just emotions and rhetoric. We can only hope President-Elect Trump’s appointees will undo this travesty.
Newspapers get news releases daily, many of them from various levels of government. They provide information on what bureaucrats are up to or want people to know. The one from the Interior Department could’ve easily been written by anti-mining activist Becky Rom.
Here’s some of the wording used:
• Agencies deny sulfide-ore copper lease
• Mining impacts near pristine watershed
• Acid mine drainage is a significant environmental risk
• Decision echoes the concerns of former Vice President Walter Mondale and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton
We can’t make this stuff up. Instead of providing factual information to its citizens, our current federal government has resorted to copying the Friends of the Boundary Waters’ list of hot button phrases.
There may be a short-lived celebration from the anti-mining crowd but deep down, behind closed doors, they must know this ridiculous decision won’t stand. Even the evergreen Star Tribune pointed out this decision was “not based on deep evaluations of detailed plans for Twin Metals operation or pollution mitigation. The reason: The project isn’t far enough along yet for these plans to be that detailed.”
Yup, this is plain old politics pure and simple. It’s a victory of sorts but it’s as hollow as an old, rotted-out popple tree. Even the Duluth News Tribune, based in one of Minnesota’s most liberal cities, disagreed with the decision.
In the waning days of President Obama’s reign, there are numerous last second hurdles being thrown up to appease the anti crowd. Not as many as the number of pardons Obama is handing out like candy, but that’s another story.
What’s most interesting is the lack of any support for this action from the Eighth District (which by the way was won by Trump in the last election). Elected officials at the local, county, state and federal level have come out against the decision and vowed to work to overturn it.
If this Washington SNAFU has done anything, it’s galvanized the support for getting environmentally responsible mining projects up and running once they have passed all of the tests, not before they even have a complete plan on the table.
The new group Fight For Minnesota Mining surpassed 10,000 Facebook members just days after the decision was announced. Instead of just upsetting the motorized users of the BWCA, the Friends et al have now managed to alienate the entire mining-based economy of northeast Minnesota (and more).
What happens next is yet to be seen but we highly doubt the goal was to wake a sleeping giant. Trump won the Eighth District, that should have been a wake up call in itself. To rub a last second political decision in the faces of the majority of people of Northeast Minnesota? That may be a political blunder of epic proportions.