Stauber, Newhouse Blast Biden’s Move to Cut Off Domestic Minerals, Kill American Jobs
Washington, October 20, 2021 | Elizabeth Daniels (202-280-8720)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Biden Administration requested a 20-year mineral withdrawal within the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota, triggering a two-year pause on new federal mining permits and leases in the area.
Congressional Western Caucus Vice Chair Pete Stauber (MN-08), who represents the Iron Range, and Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) released the following statements:
"Quite simply, President Biden is putting politics over science. Nearly a year ago, candidate Joe Biden pledged to support Minnesota’s miners in their mission to obtain good-paying mining jobs, bring economic prosperity to a region that desperately needs it, and secure America’s critical mineral supply chain. Joe Biden has officially failed to uphold this promise,” said Vice Chair Stauber. “At the beginning of the year, I sent a letter to President Biden opposing Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary, citing concerns over her longstanding anti-mining position. Meanwhile, Biden also nominated Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary, who is on the record for his opposition to mining. My concerns were met with silence from the President. To be clear, I not only place blame on this Administration, but am disappointed in our United States Senators and Democrat House members from Minnesota who have the President’s ear and either stood silently by, or actively let these union jobs go up in smoke. They are complicit in this incredibly harmful decision. I’m concerned there will be more devastating decisions ahead. Today’s announcement further proves that the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress are incapable of doing what’s right for union members and working families across northeast Minnesota. Rather than promoting the dignity of work, they’re comfortable seeing Minnesota’s union members and skilled workers sidelined. Instead of empowering Minnesotans to develop the minerals necessary for almost every sector of our economy under the strongest labor and environmental standards in the world, they are willing to rely on hostile nations that utilize child slave labor and terrible environmental practices. This decision is unacceptable on every level, and I will not stop until it has been reversed."
“It is gravely disappointing but not at all surprising that the Biden Administration is choosing to bend to political interests rather than supporting Minnesotan workers and the American way of life,” said Chairman Newhouse. “Banning mining in northern Minnesota – home to one of the largest untapped mineral deposits in the world – where hardworking men and women responsibly develop the minerals our country needs under the safest labor and environmental protections in the world is political theatre at its worst. The Biden Administration claims they want more clean energy infrastructure, more electric vehicles, and stronger supply chains – but apparently they want it all to come from foreign countries like China. Instead of strengthening our domestic supply of critical minerals and boosting economic activity in rural communities, this move – which is unbacked by sound science – will stifle our ability to manufacture goods, weaken our national security, and eliminate good-paying American union jobs. I will continue to proudly stand alongside Rep. Stauber to defend Minnesota’s mining industry against baseless and irresponsible political attacks.”
This action by the Biden Administration mirrors the Obama-Biden regime’s 2016 action to initiate a mineral withdrawal in northern Minnesota. The Trump Administration reversed the order, offering a fair environmental review and permitting process for the Twin Metals project.
Northern Minnesota is home to the world’s largest known undeveloped copper-nickel deposit. In January 2021, Rep. Stauber introduced the Saving America’s Mines Act to prevent the executive branch from eliminating mining jobs and economic activity in rural communities.
The Twin Metals mine would tape into mineral resources like copper that are necessary for U.S. manufacturing. The project continues to undergo robust regulatory reviews and environmental permits.