Letter:…projects are only a few of the potential economic boom that could occur

To the Editor,
The latest blow to northeastern Minnesota (Twin Metals) should come as no surprise. It’s the most recent in a string of decisions by metro elites to strangle and starve out economic success for northeastern Minnesota’s people.
Let’s just look at the history of job creating projects that have been stifled by outside influences:
Twin Metals, which was going to generate $2 billion in economic activity and employ 750 people, was stopped in a bureaucratic process, when leases were suddenly and unexplainably stopped outside a state and federal buffer zone.
In the near future, the Huber wood products will continue its environmental review process, which has already experienced roadblocks by metro area legislators introducing a bill to stop the project. This project will generate an estimated $400 million, and employ 150 hardworking northern Minnesotans - if it can make it through the regulatory process.
Line 3 generated over $2.1 billion despite a wall of regulatory hurdles and court battles and nearly 4 years of setbacks.
Sandpiper pipeline was moved around the state after significant regulatory hurdles - a project that should have generated $1.5 billion for northeastern Minnesotans and a continued amount of income of millions of dollars annually.
Instead, this pipeline was built around Minnesota, further denying annual economic benefits to our friends and neighbors.
Eleven of 13 coal fired reliable electric generating facilities have idled or been repurposed. The remaining two provide 600 family sustaining jobs and generate $300 million in annual economic activity. These facilities provide the backbone of energy our region needs to compete globally as the region diversifies its electricity generation.
After nearly 20 years of permitting, Polymet is still fighting for its final permits in what appears to be never ending court battles. Polymet will generate $516 million in annual economic activity and provide 360 in family sustaining wages.
These projects are only a few of the potential economic boom that could occur in Northern Minnesota if it wasn’t for career bureaucrats putting up endless roadblocks.
We know that when projects of this magnitude are approved and operating it changes the trajectory of our economy by encouraging the next generation of workers and families to stay and thrive.
All told, northeastern Minnesota has lost out on billions in economic activity and thousands of jobs. Metro elites are trying to slowly starve us out. It’s time we wake up to the gravity and reality of the situation and vote with our feet.
We are being denied economic success by forces we elect. It’s time to stop electing people who will allow us to take economic blows, and elect people whose only loyalty is to us and our economic future.
Kelsey Johnson
Gnesen Township