Mining benefits the entire statePublished 2:09pm Thursday, January 23, 2014
If you were to ask the average Minnesotan about important issues in which politicians should be focusing, I have no doubt, most would agree that “bringing good-paying jobs to the state” is near the top of the list. Well, as a matter of fact, there is a real opportunity in Minnesota to bring high-paying, stable jobs TODAY. The opportunity is copper-nickel mining.
These new mines will offer an unprecedented economic opportunity to Minnesota. And what’s best, the benefits of mining extend far beyond the thousands of immediate, full-time jobs they are slated to create. Communities will grow, requiring elements of economic success from across our state — all the way to Albert Lea. These projects will usher in a new economic reality for generations, creating high-paying jobs, spurring investment, generating money for our schools and fostering spinoff economic opportunities and building annual tax revenues in the tens of millions of dollars.
Mining in Minnesota is different today than those projects from the early 1900s. Today’s environmentally responsible mines are building the green economy of the future. And that is critical, because in addition to our people, one of the best things about living in Minnesota is our beautiful lakes, land and rivers.
Before any work is done, the projects need approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a half dozen other federal agencies. They will operate in accordance with the strictest environmental laws in the world. By using the latest technology and reusing existing mining infrastructure, these projects are fully dedicated to protecting Minnesota’s natural habitats, including the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior.
I was tempted to ask, “Why is this important to Albert Lea?” But the answer is clear — we need to mine our natural resources responsibly — and that task and the resulting growth will benefit us all. No one would suggest that the oil boom in North Dakota is only benefiting those near Williston — nor that Minnesota’s forestry industry only benefits those in the northeast. We all benefit.
We must stand together to support this clear opportunity.
International Union of
Operating Engineers Local 49