The mighty din of the mining meeting

I neglected to bring up the results of last Friday’s joint hearing of the Minnesota State Senate Commerce and Environmental committees at Hibbing Community College. The topic was, first and foremost, mining — specifically nonferrous mineral mining within the Iron Range’s eastern environs.

It could be fairly said that much of the proceeding included the testimony and demonstration of support for mining projects by those in the industry and local business community, aided by the Republican-controlled Senate committees eager to show their business focus. Some environmental groups dispatched observers and spokespeople to testify, but they constituted the minority.

I’ve written before that this is a frustrating topic, because the environmental and economic advocates usually end up talking past one another. MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill has a story that digs into that question after Friday’s hearing. Mesabi Misadventures has a good post about this feeling, also written in response to Friday’s proceedings. MPR’s Bob Kelleher explores an important question that I have, how reliable will a copper-based economy be in relation to a steel-based one?

I am generally unmoved from my original position, which is one of acceptance of future mining jobs for their face value, but a continued belief that only true diversification will ever change fate of the Iron Range from anything but a recreational mineral colony that expends its youth and optimism. That’s why this testimony from Bob Tammen at the hearing Friday, a friend of this blog, is worth a click.


  1. We’ve been over this ground many times in my years on the Range. We have one unique resourse up here, minerals. Many places have forests for logging, same with lakes and campgrounds. If not for iron ore, then taconite, most of us wouldn’t be here. Mining has allowed many to have jobs not just in the mines themselves. We need PolyMet to go to work so we can work for them in many different ways.

  2. Wow did Bob Tammen just talk about Wind power? Please tell him to go out to hwy 169 and watch those money savers turn. Have him bring a lunch because sometimes they don’t turn. Don’t you think those greedy mining companies who showed us Rangers who is boss by “stealing” 170 million of our dollars in rebates, would put up wind turbines themselves if it saved them money. They after all are greedy, no good polluters of our area. Union workers good/company bad. Man, can we get passed that old worn out mindset. Ole Tom needs to move if that’s how he feels. K Edwards

  3. I can’t believe that at a long meeting, Bob Tammen’s rant on bad mining companies and “Go Green” was the highlite. Disappointing.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.