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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Swedzinski urges support for Emmer bill to reverse Twin Metals lease withdrawal

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


ST. PAUL – Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, has joined a bipartisan list of more than 50 Minnesota legislators urging support for Congressman Tom Emmer’s bill to reverse the last-minute land withdrawals and to require congressional approval for any future withdrawal actions.

The bill (H.R. 3905) came in response to the Obama administration’s decision in the final months of his second term to withdraw nearly 240,000 acres of federal lands from potential development, effectively killing the proposed Twin Metals mining project in Northeast Minnesota. Congress is expected to vote on the bill this week.

“This bill holds so much promise for our state that Congress should approve it in a heartbeat,” said Swedzinski, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Mining, Forestry and Tourism. “The economic growth in this proposal is significant, with the potential for thousands of good-paying jobs, billions of dollars in investments and as much as $3 billion in revenue to support K-12 education in our state. I am thankful Congressman Emmer has taken on this issue in D.C. Let’s keep the faith that bipartisanship and common sense will win the day.”

The land withdrawal decision by the Obama administration put 17,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in overall economic impact for Minnesota at risk. In addition, it would result in billions in lost revenue for Minnesota’s Permanent School Trust Fund.

The bill does not supersede federal, state, or local environmental regulations, and does not permit mining or prospecting in the Boundary Waters. The bill includes clarifying language stating that “nothing should be construed to permit prospecting for development and utilization of mineral resources within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Mine Protection Area.”