Stauber Condemns McCollum’s Attack on Iron Mining

July 23, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) reiterated his opposition to the Fiscal Year 2021 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Spending bill which is being led by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) and contains a policy rider which would halt iron ore, precious metal, and aggregate permitting within the Rainy River Watershed and the Superior National Forest.

Congressman Stauber stated, “My colleague Congresswoman McCollum’s latest attack on working families in Northeastern Minnesota is a new low, even for her. Her number one priority in Congress seems to be to stop all precious metal mining and kill union jobs in my Congressional District. Her latest legislation would halt any expansion or extension of mines that currently exist within the Superior National Forest and the Rainy River Watershed. The bill directly impacts four mining operations including three iron mines - the Minntac mine, the Minorca mine, the North Shore mine - as well as the Coldspring Mesabi Quarry. Combined, these four mines employ more than 2,000 Minnesotans, nearly all union workers.

“By introducing this legislation, my colleague Congresswoman McCollum is telling my constituents their livelihoods don’t matter and that they don’t deserve a paycheck, even during a global pandemic. Her time in Congress has enabled China’s domination in the steel industry while the Communist regime has some of the poorest labor and environmental standards in the world.

“My colleague Congresswoman McCollum has made one thing very clear. This is not just about one proposed mine; this is an ideological attack on all mining and our way of life.”

In addition to Congressman Stauber, Congressman Emmer, local union leaders, and miners also condemned this harmful legislation:

Congressman Emmer stated, “I’m proud to stand with my friend and colleague, Congressman Stauber, in opposing this dangerous and misguided legislation. The bill House Democrats aim to pass tomorrow will not only threaten existing mining operations that have provided thousands of jobs, but it will also endanger our national security and access to critical minerals. We will fight this anti-mining effort every step of the way and provide for environmentally responsible mining jobs here at home.”

President of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades, Mike Syversrud said, “As President of the Iron Range Building and Construction Trades, I am disturbed by the underhanded attempt from Twin Cities environmentalists to undermine existing iron ore operations as well as future precious metal projects. Our union men and women in northern Minnesota deserve these high-wage jobs. Our Representative, Pete Stauber, is a champion for our region and I stand with him as he fights against these harmful provisions.”

Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, Jason George said, “Thank you to Representative Pete Stauber for standing up against continued attacks on mining in northern Minnesota. Environmentalists seek to undermine development at every turn, and unfortunately iron mining was included in the latest legislation. Rest assured, I will stand with Rep. Stauber and continue to fight for the hardworking men and women of northern Minnesota.”

Ely resident and 5th generation miner, Chad Baltich said, “It’s incredibly disappointing that someone from the Twin Cities spends her time attacking our jobs in northern Minnesota. As an employee at Minorca Mine, I take these attacks personally. Thanks to Rep. Stauber for standing up for our union, mining jobs and fighting for our way of life.”

Earlier today, Congressman Stauber spoke on the House Floor in opposition to this legislation. Watch his floor speech, HERE.