Dayton coming North, definitely not a vacation

Twin Metals headquarters in Ely, Minnesota. (Note the periodic table of elements motif).

Twin Metals headquarters in Ely, Minnesota. (Note the periodic table of elements motif).

The Mesabi Daily News reports this morning that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will make public appearances in Eveleth on Friday. The governor will talk to local officials and the public about his recent decision to block new drilling on public lands for the Twin Metals project, a controversial copper nickel mining proposal near Ely.

Gov. Dayton said while he supports iron mining and the permitting process for projects like PolyMet, he does not support sulfide ore mining so close to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The Mesabi Daily News front page news story happily summarized his argument like this: “The governor cited only emotional arguments — no scientific reasoning — for his decision…”

It’s that kind of open minded analysis that characterizes the position of the Iron Range chattering class.

Dayton’s decision reignited a firestorm of debate over the nonferrous mining issue in Minnesota. Local officials and Range DFLers asked him to reconsider. Republicans, including MN-8 Congressional challenger Stewart Mills, attempted to make hay out of the issue.

Dayton will meet with Ely officials at the IRRRB offices in Eveleth at 3 p.m. Friday, followed by a 4:30 public meeting scheduled by the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS). These are open meetings, but it’s unlikely that there will be much time for comments or questions.

From the MDN:

Ely Mayor Novak said the meeting was requested by the governor.

“In accordance with the Open Meeting Law, the City Council has posted a special meeting … purposed to honor the governor’s request and four councilors (a quorum) signed on to call this special meeting.

“It has to be a public meeting especially with a quorum of the council present. The council also must follow guidelines of council meetings that is in city ordinance which means that I will call the council to order. I really don’t know if there will be a crowd but the ability of individuals to talk will be up to the governor since he called he meeting. I would hope that individuals will respect the rare privilege that the entire council be invited to meet with the governor and allow the governor and council to meet without interruption especially since time is limited,” Novak said.

The mayor and councilors will make a direct appeal to the governor to allow Twin Metals to continue with its preliminary work on the project.

“It is unknown at this time whether we will be able to change the governor’s mind but I hope to make a strong case for him to do so,” Novak said.


  1. Independant says

    What a novel concept to actually speak to those public officials closest to the issue… albeit after the fact. What a boob.

  2. Gray Camp says

    Since the BWCAW act was an act of US Congress, and it owes it’s current protection to the boundaries that were set up when they voted on it in 1978, I’m at least a little bothered that Dayton is overextending his jurisdiction in trying to change the boundaries.

  3. Independent says

    I just watched a clip of Dayton speaking at the meeting from today. Can he even string together one coherent sentence? Wow…

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