Letters to the Duluth News Tribune

Last week, the Duluth News Tribune published an editorial voicing full support for the PolyMet mine project, despite the fact that the mine poses serious threats to the water and sustainable economy of northeastern Minnesota. In response, several individuals wrote letters to the editor, which are included below.

You can send your own letter to letters@duluthnews.com. Check out our letter-to-the-editor page for more tips and information about speaking up about this issue.

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I am sure if Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., were well-informed of the environmental risks posed by PolyMet, he would not have announced his support for PolyMet (“Region’s lawmakers support PolyMet mine,” Dec. 11).

Franken needs to reconsider his position. Such a short-term employment gain at the risk of long-term deterioration of Minnesota’s total tourism industry could not have been understood by him when he made his position.

Mimi Gingold
Cincinnati and Ely

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Evening news coverage of the proposed PolyMet mine was reminiscent of seven years ago when we were thrust, by a propaganda machine, into an unnecessary war. Dissenters were minimized or ignored outright by television news media whose responsibility it was to fully inform.

The PolyMet process has yet to be adequately explained by local television news outlets, except to say it is a new way of mining nonferrous metals that minimizes the enormous possible risks. After regularly viewing local evening news, I am no better informed regarding what the PolyMet process is, how the PolyMet process works, where it has previously been done successfully and what safeguards will be taken to ensure the health of the workers and environment. I do not know if the environmentalists have legitimate concerns, but it is very suspicious when one side of a controversy is so effectively dismissed. If this is a viable venture, there should be no problem in presenting an honest debate with scientists of equal stature, equal expertise and equal time.

These potential jobs, which could support hundreds of families for decades, are very important. Given the history of this industry, the people who will be laboring long days to make this mine profitable deserve, at the very least, a full and honest debate about the possible negative effects on their health and environment. This is the necessary function of television news.

The way this has played out on TV makes me wonder whether we are being sold a lemon that looks like gold but comes back to cause our children calamity. We don’t know. We need facts, not propaganda, from either side. It concerns me.

Thomas H. Glick
Two Harbors

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Are the waters of Northeastern Minnesota less precious than those of Wisconsin?

Wisconsin will not allow sulfide ore mining until it can be proven that it can be done without harming the environment. No mining company has done that.

The waters of Northeastern Minnesota could be a testing ground for PolyMet’s unproven methods. The damage to our environment and the taxpayers’ cost for cleanup could last decades longer than the jobs.

Mary Thompson
Duluth

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I’m a former guide and lifetime tourist in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, though I now live out of state. I care a lot about the environment and as a chemical engineer I know more than I really want to about what can go wrong and how hard or impossible man-made problems are to fix. So I’m asking the News Tribune to please reconsider its premature support for the PolyMet proposal (Our View: Minnesota can embrace PolyMet and copper mining,” Dec. 20).

Howard Myers
Pompton Plains, N.J.