October 10, 2019
Ely, MN – Tonight, Donald Trump will be speaking at a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A hallmark of Trump’s presidency has been a ruthless attack on America’s public lands, pursuing an agenda to turn them over to corporate interests wherever possible. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than his fast-tracking of risky sulfide-ore copper mining on the doorstep of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, America’s most popular Wilderness.
Ahead of the visit, Action Fund Executive Director Tom Landwehr released the following statement:
“Donald Trump has made selling out Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness Exhibit A in his reprehensible gutting of our public lands. At every turn, he has twisted the law, short-circuited environmental review, and allowed high dollar mining lobbyists to dictate the fate of America’s most popular Wilderness. Minnesotans – and Americans – don’t want this mine, and pushing it will cost Trump in 2020.”
Here are five things to know ahead of his rally tonight:
Minnesotans and Americans don’t want this mine. Seventy percent of Minnesota voters do not want sulfide-ore copper mining near the Boundary Waters, including 91 percent of Democrats. In Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, where the mine would be located, nearly 80 percent of Democrats are opposed. Overall, 56 percent of Eighth Congressional District voters are opposed, while only 39 percent are in support. Nationally, over 94% of the 125,000 public comments on a proposed mining ban urged protection. Nearly 56,000 citizens submitted additional comments during a second comment period.
A growing number of Presidential Candidates are committing to protecting the Boundary Waters. Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer, Corey Booker and more are all promising to protect Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness.
Trump is putting politics and cronyism before science and established environmental law. In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service terminated the mining project after a thorough scientific review determined the mine posed an almost certain risk of “irreparable harm” to the Wilderness. Since then, the Trump administration has used unlawful maneuvers and suppressed scientific evidence in order to fast-track the project.
The owner of the mining company is also Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s landlord. Antofagasta, the company behind the Twin Metals mining project near the Boundary Waters, was “losing a fight” with the federal government in the final months of the Obama administration. However, the Trump Administration revived the project after its owner, Andronico Luksic, bought a Washington, DC, mansion and rented it to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
The Trump Administration is covering up critical scientific evidence about the dangers of copper mining next to Boundary Waters. The Trump Administration cancelled a critical environmental study on the impact of copper mining next to the Boundary Waters at the last minute and is refusing to hand over the data to Congress, the press, and the public.