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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Lueck: Latest economic setback is another call to action

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
ST. PAUL – Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, said Tuesday's announcement that another mining operation will idle its operations in northern Minnesota highlights the importance of bringing job-creating projects to the region.

This was in response to news that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will shut down its Northshore Mining operations in Silver Bay and Babbitt, putting around 540 workers on the shelf at least through the first quarter of 2016.

"It's very disappointing that our region is again experiencing another economic setback with the latest announcement of temporarily idling mining operations," said Lueck, who is the vice chairman of the House committee on mining. "We have to stop the bleeding. This announcement underscores the importance of bringing job creating projects on line today. Not next year or maybe some time in the distant future."

Lueck said a cumbersome permitting process in Minnesota has hindered economic development in this part of the state.

"But for the mountain of bureaucratic red tape that has prevented these new projects from moving forward, our skilled workers would not be sitting on the sidelines," Lueck said. "This year the state Legislature passed several measures to improve the prospects for getting steelworkers back to work, but that is not enough. We need to stop the dillydallying and move forward. New non-taconite related mining operations and substantial pipeline construction projects already exist that would put many of our region's people back to work today. It's time to stop allowing manageable environmental concerns to deny the citizens of our region a long-term prosperous economic future."

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