Mining

My job as governor is to protect the interests of Minnesotans. Water is a strategic asset to the state and critically important to our health and future. Jobs are critically important to families and communities. I believe it is my job as governor to follow the science, develop better solutions through research to protect our environment, enforce the law to protect Minnesotans if contracts are breached, and fix the law if it doesn’t already protect our state.

When water gets pitted against jobs, we risk losing one to the other. For our future, we need both.

  • It’s imperative, especially in the real possibility that Polymet is issued a permit before the election, that actuarially sound and strong financial assurances are secured, and enforced. Any production would need to stop should agreements not be met.
  • It’s important that we follow the law. If the permitting process that is in law isn’t doing a good enough job of protecting the interests of Minnesotans, then we need to fix it. And if a corporation violates their permit then production should be halted until they can prove they will be back in compliance.
  • It’s important to me that we follow the law because acting unilaterally sets the precedence for future governors to act outside laws that they dislike. This is problematic for a number of different reasons and not just as it’s related to environmental permitting in the future.  
  • I’ll protect our state from corporate interests that seek to weaken our permitting process for their financial gain. We see these efforts both at the state and federal level. I’ve voted against them repeatedly, and would continue to oppose them if the science is not sound.
  • Although we often focus on mining, in Minnesota, we are hard on our water – with agriculture, with overdevelopment, with road salt, and with manufacturing. So it’s imperative we invest in the research already taking place at the Natural Resources and Research Institute at UMD around advanced filtration, reverse osmosis, and other ways to clean impaired waters. As governor I would ensure that we invest in that research more heavily to protect and repair water, regardless of the project.
  • Regarding Twin Metals, the state’s current role in the project is limited, mostly around access to the site and to state land adjacent to the federal land that they wants to mine. I would not allow any lease to be issued to Twin Metals for any use without going through our state-mandated process, nor would I shortcut any study or research necessary to inform that decision. This is what Friends of the Boundary Waters has asked for, and I’m fully committed to that.