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...they are interfering with the national security of this country

This mining controversy has been going on for about three years now. This is just like the environmentalists of the state of Oregon, trying to shut down the lumber industry of this state. From pounding nails and metal object in the trees to be logged, causing injury to the loggers, but the loggers persisted, finally the protestors started climbing trees, daring the loggers to cut the tree.
Some protestors got injured, some got killed, soon the protesting stopped and Oregon’s lumber industry goes humming along, supplying America with lumber.
I’ve been living in Ely for 88 years. I’ve seen the good times and also the bad. When the Pioneer “B” shaft quit mining, the economy slowed down. This mine provided Ely’s workers with good wages and a good living for 69 years.
Thank heaven an economist, E.W. Davis from the University of Minnesota, found a way to process the billions of tons of taconite that laid in the hills of Babbitt. In the 1950s, people from Ely and the surrounding area of Babbitt got good jobs, and the economy started to flourish once again.
Engineering did it again. The invention of the jet piercing machine made it possible to burn holes into the taconite to fill these holes with explosives. This machine used oxygen gas and fuel oil for generating heat at 4600 degrees. I ran these machines for 27 years, then the rotary drill was invented and is used now. As I say, mining engineering has come a long way in the last 75 years.
It seems like things have changed around here since 1979. Some of those environmentalists came from the eastern states to settle here, took advantage of the thousands of acres of the BWCA, the public’s land, and made a lucrative living from it by going into the tourist trade by outfitting the tourist for the wilderness experience.
These outfitters are one of a kind. They realized the American Dream does exist and made it come true, and now they don’t want anyone else sharing it with them. That includes mining companies and anybody else.
This is why the house “sustainable Ely” was purchased - to show its opposition to mining. These people who oppose don’t realize they are interfering with the national security of this country and that also goes for the governor of Minnesota. We need these metals for modern day weaponry and communication systems.
We have the proof that the water of the BWCA won’t be tainted, ask anyone from Las Vegas. Ben Miller wrote a letter to the Ely Echo to prove it. What more does the opposition want?
One thing we do know, in court action, one cannot make a case on an “assumption” that mining companies will pollute. Good engineering will prove it can be done cleanly.
About 10 years ago, I read an article from a newspaper that a case was thrown out of court in Pennsylvania, where a farmer tried to sue a drilling company. He said fracking for oil and gas was going to spoil his drinking water.
His lawyer told him he can’t sue on an assumption, that’s guessing, you must let the company drill and if it spoils your water, then you can have the right to sue. The drilling company drilled several holes, and it had no effect on his drinking water. His lawyer was right.
That’s much the same around here. No one can prove or assume that this precious metal mining will pollute the water of the BWCA, that’s just assuming or guessing. The environmentalists around here will have to wait until Twin Metals starts mining so they can sue. I think the opposition to mining will lose the case.
George Rukavina

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