Biden never addressed the Line 3 or Twin Metals projects during his presidential primary campaign, and he has continued to avoid taking a stand since becoming the likely Democratic nominee.
The project has garnered national media attention and even become a wedge issue in the presidential campaign. And that was before Twin Metals Minnesota submitted its official operating plan for review.
The implications of the two projects for the area’s workforce could be “crazy,” said Michelle Ufford, executive director of the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training.
McCollum got language asking for the study into an appropriations bill that passed the House. Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar are supporting a similar measure in the Senate.
It’s no coincidence that three Democratic candidates have come out with positions on this very Minnesota-centric issue.
“We really don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat,” said Mike Syversrud, president of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades Council. “We want people who will support local union jobs and creating more local jobs for everybody.”
In a wide-ranging interview, the DFL governor talked about his support for PolyMet, his skepticism of Glencore, and his questions about Twin Metals, which wants to build a mine just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
In a major shift, Twin Metals says it plans to store much of the waste from its proposed mine using the “dry stack” method, an emerging technology that some argue is a better strategy for preventing water pollution.
The prospect of a copper-nickel mine on the edge of Minnesota’s most famous wilderness area has made it one of the most controversial natural resource projects in the country.
Mining is directly responsible for about 0.2 percent of Minnesota’s jobs and less than 3 percent of its economic output.
For advocates, the decision to end an Obama-ordered environmental study was both predictable and shocking.