Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Mining

I grew up on the Iron Range (Cuyuna, specifically), in the heart of Minnesota mining country, where most of my friends and neighbors worked in the mines. I support our mine workers, their good-paying jobs, their unions, and local business suppliers. I support our mining families, our mining industry and all the economic, social, and cultural benefits mining has brought to northern Minnesota over decades of growth and development.

Thanks to advances in mining technology, the time has long past when we had to choose between mining and the environment.

I believe we can do mining the right way, creating good-paying jobs while adhering to the strictest environmental and safety standards to ensure safe working conditions, and that clean air, clear water, and healthy soil continue to support our tourism industry and Minnesota quality of life.

The fact is, the precious metals and minerals mined by Iron Rangers touch every part of our daily lives, while reducing our carbon footprint and making us more energy-efficient:

  • New cars contain more than 1 ton of iron, steel, copper, nickel, and nickel-based aluminum – hybrid vehicles are even more energy efficient.
     
  • Wind turbines contain hundreds of tons of steel and copper – and reduce our air pollution.
     
  • Cellphones contain copper and palladium – conserving resources and advancing communication technology.
     
  • Lithium-ion batteries contain nickel, cobalt, manganese, and more – and help us save energy.
     
  • Modern catalytic convertors contain platinum and palladium – reducing our carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
     
  • Every computer – television – light bulb – printer – iPad – and on and on – contains iron ore and precious metals that we mine in Minnesota, and helps reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

I believe mining and environmental protection should work hand-in-hand as we tap the materials necessary to produce next-generation products and technology, as well as the iron ore and steel that goes into our automobiles, buildings, machinery, appliances, roads, bridges, highways, and ports – every aspect of our nation’s infrastructure and industrial economy.

We serve the planet and our future by mining these minerals here in America, where the industry is closely regulated, where workers are protected, and where air, water, and land is respected, protected, and restored.

Below are two opinion pieces on mining I have written for local papers, as well as my complete statement to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Polymet project. 

Mesabi Daily News: Rick Nolan "The Range is our home and mining is what we do!"

"Mining Our Way to a Healthy Environment, Jobs, and Energy Independence"

PDF iconStatement_on_NorthMet_SDEIS.pdf

More on Mining

Jan 31, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today released a letter urging Acting Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Dan Jiron of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reverse the agency’s decision to withdraw more than 234,000 acres out of multiple-use purpose from the Superior National Forest.

Jan 25, 2017 In The News

HOYT LAKES, Minn. — The U.S. Forest Service on Monday backed a major land trade that will give PolyMet Mining Co. access to the land where it plans to build an open-pit copper-nickel mine.

The Forest Service announced its final “record of decision’’ on the land swap that will see PolyMet receive access to 6,650 acres at the mine site between Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt.

In exchange, PolyMet already has purchased the rights to 6,690 acres of undeveloped private land within the boundary Superior National Forest that will now transfer to the Forest Service.

Jan 25, 2017 In The News

The U.S. Forest Service signed off on a major land exchange for PolyMet and its proposed copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes.

PolyMet will receive access to 6,400 acres in exchange for its purchase of 6,690 acres of undeveloped private land that will now transfer to the Forest Service.

Jan 25, 2017 In The News

Good news for PolyMet on Monday. The U.S. Forest Service said they have signed the Final Record of Decision on the land exchange, which authorizes the exchange.

The exchange calls for the Forest Service to convey 6,650 acres of federal land to PolyMet, in exchange for acquisition of 6,690 acres of non-federal land. 

Jan 25, 2017 In The News

DULUTH, MN -

The U.S. Forest Service signed the Final Record of Decision on Monday, which authorizes a land exchange with PolyMet Mining, Inc.

The exchange calls for the Forest Service to convey 6,650 acres of federal land in exchange for acquisition of 6,690 acres of non-federal lands.

The decision will transfer the surface property owned by the Forest Service to PolyMet, which controls the sub-surface, or mineral rights.

Jan 25, 2017 In The News

The U.S. Forest Service on Monday backed a major land trade that will give PolyMet Mining Co. access to the land where it plans to build an open-pit copper-nickel mine.

The Forest Service announced its final “record of decision’’ on the land swap that will see PolyMet receive access to 6,650 acres at the mine site.

In exchange, PolyMet already has purchased the rights to 6,690 acres of undeveloped private land within the boundary Superior National Forest that will now transfer to the Forest Service.

Jan 24, 2017 Press Release

Applauding President Trump’s announcement of his support for the use of exclusively American-made pipelines, U.S. Rep Rick Nolan today reintroduced his American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act. Nolan’s bill would require that virtually all energy pipelines built and federally permitted in the United States contain 100 percent American steel – and iron ore that is mined, processed or reprocessed in America.

Jan 13, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today expressed his outrage at the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) decision to publish a misguided Notice of Intent to prepare a duplicative Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that would withdraw over 234,000 acres out of multiple-use purpose from the Superior National Forest.

Jan 9, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today applauded the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) release of its final, signed “Record of Decision,” a major achievement for the Nolan-backed PolyMet project.

Superior National Forest (SNF) Supervisor Connie Cummins’ signature on the Record of Decision allows PolyMet and the Forest Service to execute a land exchange necessary for PolyMet to begin mining the NorthMet deposit, while increasing the SNF’s net wetlands acreage and allowing for better land management administration.

Jan 3, 2017 In The News

KEEWATIN — Keewatin Taconite will end a near 20-month closure within the next few weeks, resulting in hundreds of employees returning to work.

U.S. Steel announced in a press release Thursday that it will restart Keetac in early January and anticipates production will begin in March. About 202 employees will be initially called back, said U.S. Steel spokesperson Erin DiPietro, in an email.