In the age of fake news, making up facts is now part of the anti-mining rhetoric

The anti-mining crowd must be getting nervous. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) has put together legislation to help get the PolyMet land exchange with the Forest Service completed soon. And, he’s still pushing for the feds to renew the leases for Twin Metals Minnesota.
In Ely on a barnstorming tour, Nolan accompanied Republican Representatives Gosar, Emmer and Westerman to get a first-hand look at what Twin Metals is proposing for a copper-nickel mine south of Ely.
Back in DC, the four congressmen sent a letter signed by a total of 26 members of Congress to urge the secretaries of the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture to rescind the federal land withdrawal proposal and renew Twin Metals’ federal leases.
In response, one of the copycat groups sent a letter urging members not to sign the letter and providing their own so-called “facts” about the mining issue in Ely.
A Twin Cities based member of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters decided to embellish the letter with some far-fetched statements, including:
“Although we need more sustainable jobs in every corner of our state, Northeastern Minnesota is not a particularly economically distressed region (unemployment in St. Louis County and Lake County both fall well under the national average, in part because of jobs supported by the Boundary Waters that cannot be replaced if the area becomes polluted).”
“Communities like Ely and Tower-Soudan, where mining has not taken place for 50 years or more, have transitioned to a new economic model based on outstanding recreational resources like the Boundary Waters that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, foster a high quality of life for residents, and generate sustainable jobs.”
Now add in several of the statements made by Becky Rom at the Tuesday Group presentation this week including that the area has “continued to grow” since the mining downturn of the 1980s.
Each of these are easily disputed and do nothing to help the argument that everything is just fine here. But facts don’t seem to matter to the anti crowd. Maybe because they can’t seem to find many in their favor.
Add in that both Democrats and Republicans from this area are in support of responsible copper-nickel mining and there is little left to fall back on.
An article that was very favorable to the anti-mining crowd included a quote from Rom that she believes her group will win the argument “one funeral at a time.” She was questioned on that statement Tuesday and claimed she didn’t actually say that.
A former attorney, Rom knows how to manipulate the facts to her advantage and make statements she can later claim she didn’t say. It’s becoming a tiring routine.
We are of the firm belief when the process that is in place is followed and the mining companies can prove mineral extraction can be done safely, fair minded people will support the final decision.
For those of us who live and work here, our stake in this is as high as it gets. The Twin Cities folk have largely ignored the destruction of open spaces where they live along with many lakes and rivers in the southern half of the state being unfit to swim or drink from. In comparison, we have more public land up here than private and our lakes and rivers are clean and safe to drink from.
We will not bow down to bending the truth or wishing ill will on those who have different opinions.