Tuesday, February 01, 2011 By Aaron Brown
It could be fairly said that much of the proceeding included the testimony and demonstration of support for mining projects by those in the industry and local business community, aided by the Republican-controlled Senate committees eager to show their business focus. Some environmental groups dispatched observers and spokespeople to testify, but they constituted the minority.
I've written before that this is a frustrating topic, because the environmental and economic advocates usually end up talking past one another. MPR's Stephanie Hemphill has a story that digs into that question after Friday's hearing. Mesabi Misadventures has a good post about this feeling, also written in response to Friday's proceedings. MPR's Bob Kelleher explores an important question that I have, how reliable will a copper-based economy be in relation to a steel-based one?
I am generally unmoved from my original position, which is one of acceptance of future mining jobs for their face value, but a continued belief that only true diversification will ever change fate of the Iron Range from anything but a recreational mineral colony that expends its youth and optimism. That's why this testimony from Bob Tammen at the hearing Friday, a friend of this blog, is worth a click.