News Column

Minn. Pro-mining Group Digs for Support in DC

March 21, 2013

Members of a Minnesota coalition of labor union members and business owners testified in Washington today that federal regulatory efforts surrounding mining ventures need to be streamlined.

Harry Melander, president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council and Ruthe Batulis, president of the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce and member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, testified before the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

The two are part of the Jobs for Minnesota coalition formed to promote Minnesota's first-ever copper-nickel mining projects.

The Minnesota duo said northern Minnesota is poised to become a global center for copper-nickel and other precious-metal mining but that federal regulatory efforts have been slow toward permits.

The two Minnesotans noted that state leaders have come together in business and government in the pursuit of mining jobs. Melander pointed out that efficient permitting can be something that "policymakers of all political stripes can and should stand together to support."

"On behalf of the 50,000 men and women I represent through the Building and Construction Trades Council -- I'd ask that you, too, stand together for jobs and pass significant permitting efficiency legislation here in Washington," Melander said.

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources received testimony from various industry groups regarding permitting efficiency throughout the morning.

Source: (c)2013 the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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