Letter: ...advocating for…regulatory review

Dear Editor,
This has got to stop.
Advocating for the regulatory review process in connection with copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota doesn’t exactly light up “the base.” It’s not raw meat or exciting in any way. But it’s the right case to make, the right thing to do, especially compared with the alternative.
The quick-and-dirty “alternative” is what U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum is asking Congress to approve in her bill to block copper-nickel mining in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. No debate, no research or analysis of specific projects, just an old-fashioned “Shut ‘em down!” Her bill would prevent Twin Metals Minnesota and any other upcoming new copper-nickel projects from even getting a hearing on its proposal for an underground copper, nickel and platinum group metals mine near Ely and Babbitt.
We have two historic laws, the national and state environmental policy acts, designed for just the purpose she’s seeking to circumvent. They exist to require the fair and equitable application of science and law in reviewing development proposals like Twin Metals’. If the company can’t prove it can operate its mine safely and in compliance with strict laws to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, it doesn’t get a permit. That’s due process.
The approach being proposed by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum suggests that the regulatory agencies are incompetent and thereby wasting huge sums of taxpayer money.
Chuck Novak, Mayor
City of Ely