Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chip Cravaack - Destroying the Environment

This morning I was watching Almanac on our public TV station and teabagger Chip Cravaack was on their spewing right-wing crap.

This guy is such an accomplished liar that he has even gained the support of a local union in his district.

Well – in today’s bunch of right-wing lies he told the viewing audiences - he told right wing lie and justified it trying to get support from the left.  I could not believe what I heard when it came out of his mouth.

I didn’t get it verbatim – I was channel surfing but he basically said
Every wind turbine requires 600 pounds of copper, so we should look at production of that copper to be done here (in Minnesota).

Wind turbines – green energy??????   Right wingers don’t give a damn about green energy – but NOW when he can use green talking points to justify a horrific plan in place for Minnesota – he is more than happy to spout off green talking points.

A little info – for those not in the know – why would Cravaack be talking copper and wind turbines?

Some history

From MPR
One company, PolyMet, wants to build an open pit operation to mine copper and other metals. Another venture, Twin Metals, plans a massive, largely underground mine southeast of Ely -- a company official has likened it to an "underground city" -- stretching near the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Called the Nokomis project, it would be one of the largest private ventures ever launched in Minnesota --

That kind of mining creates concerns because when sulfide-containing rocks are exposed to the elements they produce sulfuric acid with the potential to poison watersheds and kill fish and plant life should it escape. The Environmental Protection Agency says acid mine drainage can be "highly toxic and, when mixed with groundwater, surface water and soil, may have harmful effects on humans, animals and plants."

PolyMet was incorporated in British Columbia in 1981 under the name Fleck Resources Ltd.

Twin Metals – a Minnesota based company – that does NOT have one Minnesotan on their – board – the majority of them are from CANADA.

A press release form the Friends of the Boundary Waters and the Sierra Club notes:
Several companies are vigorously pursuing metallic sulfide mining projects in northeastern Minnesota. But this is not the taconite mining that made the Iron Range famous and that Minnesotans understand. This is a much riskier mining that yields small amounts of nickel, copper, gold and platinum.

Sulfide mining, with its heavy industrialization, destruction of the landscape and potential to leach sulfuric acid and toxic metals into local watersheds, can create permanent environmental damage. It disturbs natural lands forever, including valuable wetlands that hold and store global warming pollutants, and creates water pollution problems that continue indefinitely into the future, requiring perpetual treatment and containment. Those costs are frequently left to the state’s taxpayers after the mining companies have extracted all the profits.

The  Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy notes:
Sulfide mining in Minnesota would affect many of our treasured places, including Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters. It’s too important of an issue to be uninformed.
When you are talking contamination of Lake Superior you are also talking about hurting the tourism industry in Michigan and Wisconsin which borders the Lake to the south and east.

Sulfide mining has never been done in Minnesota. This is not your Grandfather’s taconite mine. It produces toxic waste that could irreversibly damage Minnesota’s fragile lakes, rivers and natural resources.

The industry’s record on water quality is abysmal.  Hundreds of hardrock mines in the American West have been abandoned, leaving behind mine pit lakes, waste rock piles, and tailings basins that have contaminated hundreds of miles of rivers and streams.  The EPA estimates the total clean-up cost exceeds $50 billion.  The hardrock mining industry has been the #1 source of toxic waste in this country ever since the annual Toxics Release Inventory was established.

They have produced a 42 minutes video to inform others of the dangers of this project.

Mining Truth
Mining Truth was founded by Conservation Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) have teamed up to educate Minnesotans, Wisconsinites, and Michiganders on the copper / sulfide mining issue.

Their website is located   >>>>HERE<<<<

The job creation Lie:
The employment numbers are very unreliable –Minnesotans should be very critical when hearing them

While opening a mine results in new jobs, sometimes those jobs are not filled by people from communities near the mine.

Employment numbers for the PolyMet project changed once again when the company made a significant design change in the project. PolyMet announced it would no longer produce cathode copper on site, but instead use a single autoclave to create copper and nickel concentrates to be shipped elsewhere to be processed. This change reduced permanent jobs to 360 when the mine is at full capacity, and construction jobs to 500.

For example, PolyMet predicts that 55 percent of the jobs for its proposed mine would be “non-local,” and filled by individuals relocating to the area. Twenty percent would be commuters from cities such as Duluth. Only 25 percent would be local hires.

Permanent jobs:  360
Permanent jobs for Minnesotans:  162 (45%)
And that is probably severely overstated - based on the way the industry job projections have declined over just the past five years.

The mining industry is touting 3,600 “indirect” jobs in the areas - and that is probably severely overstated based on the way the industry job projections have declined over just the past five years.

AND you have to consider this!!!
In the region where they are proposing the copper mining:
Mining also has to be balanced with the region's tourism industry, which generates more than $700 million a year and 16,000 jobs in northeast Minnesota, as well as the concerns Native Americans have about copper mining's potential effects on the region's wild rice harvest.
Minnesota's economy relies - RELIES - on tourism!!!!!

Think about this little story about Butte, Montana  a lot of Minnesotans, Wisconsinites, and Michiganders have relatives that worked at the Butte copper mine.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Butte, Mont., was called the "most prosperous town" in the United States.

Local lore has it that there were more millionaires per square mile in Butte than in New York City.

Copper was the reason. Every bullet manufactured for American troops fighting in World War I had its origin in Butte. One-third of the entire country was electrified using copper from the Butte mines.

The former open-pit copper mine, which measures a mile by 1.5 miles and is more than 900 feet deep, contains 40 billion gallons of highly toxic waste left over from the copper mining days.

The reddish-brown water -- ground water that seeped back into the pit after the mine was closed in 1975 -- is filled with metal residue and a  variety of "extremophiles," which are organisms named for their ability to thrive in the poisonous brew.

And from a 2008 Canadian report
The copper mines at Butte, Montana, for example, are the site of the largest “Superfund” toxic mine waste cleanup in US history. The citizens of Butte continue to suffer a host of illnesses, and the highest rates of bone and brain cancer in North America. These cancers have been positively linked to toxic chemicals present at the former copper mining sites.

A comprehensive resource guide that provides third-party data, research and information about sulfide mining.
Read it  >>>>HERE<<<<<<

For lots of important links about this issue – and the impact of this decision on indigenous people and rights
Please see the Warriors for Earth webpage   >>>>HERE<<<

A Hamms beer commercial use to refer to Minnesota as
            The Land of Sky Blue Waters
But with copper residue in our lakes and streams not so much.

Minnesotans – Wisconsinites – Michiganders
This is what your streams and shores of Lake Superior could look like if this is allowed to pass in Minnesota.

Minnesota – here is your new look for the area next to the boundary waters – in addition to the traffic and the pollution.
This is what a copper mine looks like!!

Preserving Natural Resources?????
Increasing Canadian Companies /investors revenues?????

Preserving Natural Resources?????
Increasing Canadian Companies /investors revenues?????

Preserving Natural Resources?????
Increasing Canadian Companies /investors revenues?????

Minnesota – which way are you going to go?
Copper mining is not a solution for Minnesota!!!!!!

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