Minnesota Workers Join Stauber in Condemning House Democrats’ Shortsighted Attacks on Mining

June 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) expressed his strong opposition to the Fiscal Year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Spending bill which is being led by House Democrats and contains a policy rider authored by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) that would halt permitting for critical minerals, including taconite, copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum-group elements, and others, along with aggregates within the Rainy River Watershed and the Superior National Forest.

Of this harmful legislation, Congressman Stauber stated, “Make no mistake, House Democrats’ legislation is not just an attack on mining jobs in Minnesota, it is an attack on our entire way of life. Drafted behind closed doors as a rider on a spending bill to fund the government, this legislation will sideline construction trades and miners as the Communist regime of China and other foreign adversaries flood our markets with steel and minerals sourced under some of the worst environmental and labor standards in the world.

Stauber followed, stating, “If we have learned anything over the course of this past year, it is that we cannot continue to tolerate China’s chokehold over our supply chains, especially when we desperately need these minerals for modern energy technology, national defense, and our daily lives. That’s why I will continue to fight shortsighted anti-mining efforts every step of the way and work to empower Minnesota’s highly skilled workforce.”

In addition to destroying all possibility of critical minerals development, this bill would directly impact four existing mining operations, including three iron mines:

  • The Minntac Mine, the largest iron ore mine in North America that employs 1,100 workers.
  • The Minorca Mine, an iron ore mine that employs 350 workers.
  • The North Shore Mine, and iron ore mine that employs 570 workers.
  • The Blackstone Quarry: a granite mine.

Local union members and miners also condemned this harmful legislation:

Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, Jason George stated, “Thanks again to Representative Pete Stauber for standing up once again against these attacks from anti-mining Members of Congress. We need responsible development in northern Minnesota, and the projects under attack provide high quality jobs for Operating Engineers. Rest assured, I will stand with Rep. Stauber to remove this language and continue to fight for hardworking men and women in northern Minnesota.”

President of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades, Mike Syversrud stated, “As President of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades, I once again stand in opposition to language crafted behind closed doors that completely removes the possibility of a fair process. The projects targeted by the anti-mining Members of Congress are massive investments in our northern Minnesota workforce, and this shortsighted language will kill millions of hours of potential labor jobs before they even begin. Our Representative, Pete Stauber, is a champion for our region and workforce and I stand with him as he fights against this harmful legislation.”

Brandon Mosher, an employee at the Minorca mine stated, “As someone who makes their living as a miner on the Iron Range, language like this hurts me and my family firsthand. This is nothing short of an attack on my way of life by Members of Congress that are willing to trade my livelihood for their agenda. Thank you to Representative Stauber for fighting against this attack and standing up for me, my family, my job, and my community.”