October 11, 2019
ELY, MN – Hours before President Trump took the stage in Minneapolis yesterday, presidential contender Tom Steyer pledged to protect Minnesota’s Boundary Waters from Trump’s reckless push to open the Wilderness edge up to risky mining. The Boundary Waters, America’s most popular Wilderness, is currently under attack from Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta’s Twin Metals project, a sulfide-ore copper mine proposed right on the Wilderness edge.
“The more that presidential candidates learn about the Trump Administration’s shameless rush to ruin the Boundary Waters, the more they realize how important it is to protect the area,” said Action Fund Director Alex Falconer. “We’re thrilled to add Tom Steyer to the list of presidential candidates supporting Boundary Waters protection.
Here are five things to know about the fight it protect America’s most popular Wilderness:
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.
The Action Fund is asking campaigns to make clear statements on this issue so the public can make informed decisions when it comes time to decide whom they will support. To date the Action Fund has over 4,000 Iowa supporters and continues to activate supporters in Iowa and other states.