Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council United in Opposition to Anti-Mining Bill

Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council United in Opposition to Anti-Mining Bill

The Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council, one of the state’s most prominent labor groups, is in agreement with high profile elected officials from both sides of the political isle that there is no need for the non-ferrous mining legislation being pushed by the Friends of the Boundary Waters.

Minnesota is facing the largest budget challenge in history and companies across the state are cutting jobs. Non-ferrous mining will bring thousands of great-paying, enduring jobs and tens of millions of dollars to cities, schools, and the State. The Council strongly opposes SF845 and HF916 authored by Senator Carlson and Representative Hausman.

“At a time when all Minnesotans are eager for job growth, non-ferrous mining offers us a new opportunity to do just this and at the same time help reduce the global carbon footprint associated with the mining of base metals like copper and nickel,” Council President Dick Anfang said. “We need to be inviting this type of smart investment into Minnesota.”

Most of the world’s copper is currently mined in countries with poor environmental records and in fact 80% of global copper production is still done with a smelter. The proposed non-ferrous mining projects in Minnesota use the latest technology and will have to adhere to all of Minnesota’s existing environmental laws – some of the strictest in the country.

“Those of us who live and work in northeastern Minnesota respect the environment as much as anyone. The current laws and rules allow us to make sure that remains the case while bringing the great jobs to our region that come with this exciting new industry,” said John Grahek, Council Vice President.

Minnesota Regulatory Agencies already have all the authority necessary in statute and rules to assure air and water quality and financial responsibility. The current rules are good, strong standards that were promulgated with input and participation from all groups, including environmental groups. No additional restrictions are necessary.

“Just like the Minnesota AFL-CIO Board’s unanimous vote opposing this legislation, the Building Trades is voicing its opposition to the legislation, and our support for the industry and the environmentally responsible jobs that come with it,” stated Harry Melander, Saint Paul Building Trades Executive Secretary.

The Minnesota DNR estimates that the proposed projects will also bring more than $1 billion into the School Trust Fund, helping school districts all across Minnesota.

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