October 10, 2019
President Trump will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota today, October 10th to hold a campaign rally to tout his support for a foreign-owned sulfide-ore copper mine next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in NortheasternMinnesota.
Despite clear evidence about the dangers of this type of mine this close to the Boundary Waters, Trump and Vice President Pence have bragged about fast tracking dangerous copper-nickel mining in three previous trips to the state. They talked explicitly about unwinding protections for America’s most popular national Wilderness - the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Quotes from previous visits:
President Trump, June 2018, Duluth MN: America's rich natural resources . . . were put under lock and key including thousands of acres in Superior National Forest . . . . Tonight I'm proudly announcing that we will soon be taking the first steps to rescind the federal withdrawal in Superior National Forest, and restore mineral exploration for our amazing people, and miners and workers and for the people of Minnesota.
Vice President Pence, August 2018, Duluth MN: Many of you know that when the last President was on the way out the door he proposed a federal ban on mining on a huge section of northeast Minnesota. But this president is rolling back the ban and we are clearing the way as we speak for new mines to bring not just Minnesota iron but nickel and copper forward for the American economy. As the President said when he was in Duluth a couple months ago, “it’s gonna happen.” So take it to the bank everybody.
President Trump, April 2019, Burnsville MN: Last June, I traveled to Duluth and announced that we would be taking the first steps to rescind the federal withdrawal in Superior National Forest and restore mineral exploration for the miners and the workers of Minnesota. And we have really done that to a point that — in fact, your great congressmen; I’m going to introduce them in a little while. They’re here. And they — first thing they said is that — to protect our security and our workers in the Minnesota Iron Range. Okay? The Iron Range.
Trump is using copper mining next to the Boundary Waters to his partisan, political advantage. In doing so, he is granting rights to the public’s lands and minerals to a Chilean mining giant, Antofagasta. The family that controls Antofagasta also owns the mansion that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner rent in Washington, DC. Trump’s dictates ignore and suppress science, economics, and public opinion. However, Minnesotans don’t agree with Trump:
70% of Minnesotans are against copper mining near the Boundary Waters;
91% of registered Democrats are against copper mining near the Boundary Waters;
69% of registered Independents are against copper mining near the Boundary Waters; and
A plurality of registered Republicans, 45% to 42% are against copper mining near the Boundary Waters.
While the Trump Administration has been directed by the influence-peddling of a foreign mining conglomerate, protection of America’s most visited Wilderness from sulfide-ore copper mining is an easy commitment for candidates running to be the next president.
The choice for these candidates is easy. They should commit to protecting this special place enjoyed by nearly 150,000 visitors per year and the recreation and tourist economy that leads to $850 million in sales annually. Or they can side with a Chilean mining giant.