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

May 18, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today testified before the International Trade Commission (ITC) to urge them to make a final affirmative determination on a petition to place duties of up to 209% on foreign steel rebar. 

Apr 20, 2017 Press Release

After championing successful efforts to end illegal steel dumping with tariffs and taxes as high as 500%, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan expressed his cautious support for President Trump’s latest executive order to direct the Commerce Department to investigate whether steel imports to the United States should be prohibited on national security grounds.

Apr 11, 2017 In The News

The meetings were set in a private hallway on Capitol Hill last week, just outside the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar emerged first, and at a separate meeting time U.S. Sen. Al Franken briefly left the hearing for one of President Trump’s most important appointments.

A coalition of six representatives from the Iron Range were waiting for the lawmakers, packets of information in hand.

Apr 5, 2017 In The News

Mining hadn't even been proposed yet. There was still just mineral exploration in far Northeastern Minnesota, the drilling down into the Earth to see what was there, to see if there was enough to help satisfy our nation's hunger for the copper and other metals that power our everyday existence, our necessities like cell phones, cars and lights.

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.