Thursday, February 26, 2009 By Aaron Brown
Pat and I are home again after a few days in the Cities. We went down last week to set through the [Iron Range Resources Board] meeting which was held at the capitol last Wednesday.If you would like to respond in agreement or disagreement, consider sending along a guest post by clicking on "Contact Me" in the above menu bar. You may also use the comments section, but if it's a longer piece send it the other way and I'll run it on the main page. I'll keep doing this until it gets boring or runs amok. Be civil, everyone.
Commissioner Layman suggested hiring a community development specialist and was reminded that the IRRRB couldn't afford it.
The Board then proceeded to rebate $4 million to the mining industry. This is on top of the $8 million already rebated in the last year or so.
Their actions were rewarded by the taconite industry the very next day with the announcement of the layoff of 590 miners. That $12 million meant nothing to an industry that ships billions of dollars worth of ore every year.
That $12 million would have meant a lot to the school in Cherry or the main street of Tower or the nursing home in Ely.
I'm not a great believer in privatizing public services but maybe it's time to transfer the IRRRB & the DNR Lands & Minerals to the Chamber of Commerce where they belong. They could do their public relations services for the mining industry without burning up our tax dollars.
On the subject of Polymet, we should recall that it's a Canadian penny stock. It has a marketing agreement with Glencore, a Swiss company with a history you don't care to discuss in front of the children.
It's a perfect scenario to maximize extraction and destruction of our natural resources and minimize job creation.
Mining company lapdogs have been quite successful the last few years. They've mechanized us out of our jobs. They've politicized us our of our tax revenues. They've ostracized the critics trying to create a sustainable economy.
It's time for a change.