ST. PAUL – Rep. John Poston, R-Lake Shore, has joined a bipartisan list of more than 50 Minnesota legislators urging support for Congressman Tom Emmer’s bill to reverse the last-minute land withdrawals and to require congressional approval for any future withdrawal actions.
The bill (H.R. 3905) came in response to the Obama administration’s decision in the final months of his second term to withdraw nearly 240,000 acres of federal lands from potential development, effectively killing the proposed Twin Metals mining project in Northeast Minnesota. Congress is expected to vote on the bill this week.
“As we noted in the letter, advancing our precious metals mining industry would provide a much-needed economic boost, especially to a part of the state that could really use a lift,” Poston said. “This also would be a great benefit to our schools since development could generate billions of education dollars for some 900,000 children around the state.”
The land withdrawal decision by the Obama administration put 17,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in overall economic impact for Minnesota at risk. In addition, it would result in billions in lost revenue for Minnesota’s Permanent School Trust Fund.
The bill does not supersede federal, state, or local environmental regulations, and does not permit mining or prospecting in the Boundary Waters. The bill includes clarifying language stating that “nothing should be construed to permit prospecting for development and utilization of mineral resources within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Mine Protection Area.”