Nolan backs PolyMet project during recent tour

Last week, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN8) toured his northern Minnesota district, making a few headlines along the way. Ron Bruchu of Business North reports on Nolan’s remarks to a Duluth Chamber event.

Notable among Nolan’s remarks was an endorsement of PolyMet’s plan to mine copper and other minerals in northeastern Minnesota. Nolan said he’s convinced:

During his first three months in office, Nolan said, he has been met twice with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials and has been to PolyMet’s processing site and examined its reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system.

“I know a little bit about RO systems. I used to sell them around the world, and I’m convinced that they work,” he said.

Though Nolan never outright opposed nonferrous projects in Minnesota, he has used more caution than some die-hard supporters would prefer. Nolan appears to be striking a balance between the economic interests of these projects with the risk involved in treating water polluted in the process.

In speaking about the problems of partisanship, money in politics and other problems plaguing the Congress, Nolan must have garnered a few laughs with this line:

“I’m always the eternal optimist. You know the old saying: ‘With all this horse shit, there’s got to be a horse here somewhere.’ I’m going to find it,” he said. “I think we’re going to see the Congress gradually get back to regular order, solving problems, fixing things, opening things up and making it a more democratic institution.”

A horse, yes. A live horse? Maybe.

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