Protect what you Love!
The mission of the Environmental Caucus is to educate and mobilize the citizens of Minnesota to protect, preserve and restore the natural environment
while increasing participation in the DFL
The DFL has adopted the resolution calling for a moratorium on Copper Nickel Sulfide MIning in MN.
Sept 5, 2020
The DFL and the DFL Environmental Caucus Supports a moratorium banning copper-nickel sulfide mining in Northeastern Minnesota’s watersheds, for the protection of some of America’s greatest treasures including but not limited to Lake Superior, the BWCAW and Voyageurs National Park, until such time as such mining is proven first to be safe in water-rich environments.
In the primary between Senate candidates in SD 7 (Duluth) recently, the victor by a huge margin was Jen McEwen who has strongly opposed sulfide mining and has fought to protect our northern waters. Her opponent failed to adapt to the changes in the times, clinging to the old way of doing business. We, along with the majority of Minnesotans oppose sulfide mining in Northeastern Minnesota. This is NOT the right new industry to move into at this critical time. We need to diversify the economy, not double down on boom or bust economics.
This resolution passed in 8 CDs, 29 OUs including many in CD 8, making this one of the most supported resolutions by our SDs and OUs and one that was most submitted by Precinct Caucuses around our state.
The resolution seeking a moratorium was 13th in order of support by our delegates and OUS! This is the voice of the Grass Roots, additionally, over 60% of our Convention passed the resolution. . To override public opinion and the DFL state convention, delegates would harm efforts to elect DFLers in November. We can't afford that.
It is time to honor the grassroots DFL that tells us its time to protect our planet and to put all our lives and those of future generations first. (Stopping Climate Change was the most widely supported resolution of all!)
At this critical juncture in racial justice in our nation, it is incumbent upon us to honor tribal sovereignty and rights. The treaties we have made with the first people in our region are to be protected and the proposed copper nickel sulfide mining violates those treaties. We all want a safe place to live and work. To native peoples, it goes even further. Native People’s Caucus Chair, Joe Vital, puts it this way: “This is our homeland and we defend our inherent sovereignty to hunt, fish and self govern. The land is sacred to us, gifted by the Great Spirit in our search for manoomin. Our natural resources are cultural cornerstones to us. They are delicate. They are at risk, today. We fear this project will put them and our way of life in even deeper jeopardy tomorrow.”
Since the major permits were given to the PolyMet mine in the week before the election in 2018, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected three of them and stayed (suspended) a fourth. The permit to mine, dam safety permit and air pollution permits were all rejected by the courts and there is a decision expect this week on the water permit which was suspended. Clearly our agencies did not function to protect us. In other legal action Republicans Emmer and Stauber have been sued for applying undue pressure on the US Forest Service.
It is time for a moratorium in which we can get our house in order and protect the critically important resources of NE Mn. If we can’t do it safely, why would we agree to want to?
The firm that is most involved in Polymet is one of the worst in the world, Glencore. The company was "honored" for its opaque business practices and unacceptable labor rights in Colombian mines. This is not a company we want in Minnesota! Mining in general employs fewer laborers than ever before, a goal of mining corporations is to reduce labor costs, not build strong communities. United Steel Workers voted Glencore the World's Worst Company Ever! These are not the people to give our trust to.
Protect Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters, the Voyageurs National Park and the whole Rainy River Watershed AND the Mississippi River! Most folks don't realize that the entire Duluth Complex is what is spoken of as a huge Copper Nickel deposit - it is low grade and would require massive destruction to mine. Additionally this kind of mining produces pollution of a powerfully destructive kind, the sulfide carrying heavy metals from the earth into the water - directly impacting generation upon generation of babies with toxins. See Pew Charitable Trusts
A moratorium gives us time to consider. It's time to throw our strength behind what is good and right.
East Phillips Neighborhood : Minneapolis Can Choose a Better, and Greener Plan!
The DFL Environmental Caucus urges the city to adopt the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute's plan.
Mayor Jacob Frey
Minneapolis City Council
Minneapolis City Hall
350 S. 5th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Dear Mayor Frey and members of the City Council:
We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to reconsider and embrace the proposal of the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute to repurpose the former Roof Depot site in the city’s Southside Green Zone.
The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s proposal provides green energy, jobs and job training, low-income housing, and an organic food farm in a neighborhood that has faced countless problems and serious environmental degradation for decades. The project stands in sharp contrast to the city’s announced plans to stockpile equipment, provide a maintenance base that would send dozens of heavy trucks into the neighborhood every day, as well as demolish and replace buildings on the site. The city’s plans will significantly increase air pollution, in violation of the intent of Minnesota Statutes 116.07 subd. 4(a), the Clark/Berglin Environmental Justice Act, passed specifically to reduce pollution and its related adverse health effects in the East Phillips Green Zone.
The city council and mayor have talked about the importance of economic inclusion and tackling systemic racism in the city’s policies and decision making, and the need to lift up Black, brown, indigenous, and immigrant communities. The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute proposal would do just that. It would create a sense of economic inclusion by advancing a community led initiative to lift up the people of the community.
The City of Minneapolis now has the opportunity to resist its own history of systemic racism by stepping up to do what is right – and what has been promised - for the East Phillips Neighborhood. Community safety begins with a safe place to live. Now is the time to do the right thing and help this community build a sustainable future.
Veda Kanitz, Chair Other signers
Minnesota DFL Environmental Caucus