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Bill Carter, Speaking Events November 7th

Bill Carter, author of Boom, Bust, Boom

Free Community Forums

Thursday, November, 7
Noon, at The Rafters–Kirby Student Center University of Minnesota Duluth
7:00 pm–Vermilion Community College CL 104

Special Event for Sustainable Ely Volunteers and Supporters
Private Reception with Bill Carter
5:00 pm at Sustainable Ely (206 E. Sheridan St.)
Come enjoy refreshments and conversation before the public presentation
Please RSVP for reception at

Action Alert 10/29/2013

Flash News & Action Alert!

State Officials Share our Sulfide Mining Concerns

Big news came out of a State Executive Council meeting last week. Three key state officials expressed sentiments similar to ours regarding the environmental and financial risks of sulfide mining and the impact of prospecting leases on land owners.

Although the Executive Council approved the sale of 31 mineral leases that were auctioned off in December 2012, State Auditor Rebecca Otto voted no. Otto gave an impassioned and emotional speech in which she worried about the fiscal impact that sulfide mining would leave for future generations. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie also sounded skeptical, noting that hundreds of people have contacted him about the mining leases and that he’s concerned about the “anger and division” that is caused by the leasing process. And while Governor Dayton noted that improvements to the process were made in response to citizen testimony, he indicated the process needed further legislative review. Furthermore the Governor asked the DNR to conduct an analysis of the amount of taxes paid by the mining industry after Bob Tammen testified that the effective rate is only 3% under current state laws.

In stating that sulfide mining “has not gone well anywhere it’s been done,” Otto reflected our contention that this industry, the nation’s most polluting, has a 100% failure record in avoiding watershed damage.

The concerns she expressed about the financial burden this damage imposes upon taxpayers also correspond with ours.  For example, while proponents of the PolyMet mine tout their offer of a $170 million financial assurance package for clean-up, scientists with the Grand Portage tribe contends that clean-up costs could reach $90 billion, over 500 times more.  Given that PolyMet has indicated the mine would involve 90 local hires, that’s $1 billion in clean-up costs for each of those jobs!

State Auditor Rebecca Otto is our first statewide elected official to acknowledge the dark truth about the huge environmental and financial risks sulfide mining poses to Minnesota.

ACTION ALERT! Please send Rebecca Otto a note applauding her courage for speaking out on this issue.