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Getting to the Bottom of the Proposed Polymet Mine, Part 1

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I’m hoping that this video, featuring Paula Maccabee of Water Legacy, will be the first of several that I will be able to share over the next few weeks.

In November I started doing some research about the proposed Polymet mine project in northeastern Minnesota. I did several interviews trying to understand the 1,000+ page thick draft environmental impact statement that was released by the MN DNR, the US Forest Service and the US Army Corps of Engineers. What I wanted to do was to give a person with a general knowledge of the environment, culture and economics (ie myself) an idea of what the facts and the issues are with this proposal.

Early on I realized that reasonable and intelligent people are on all sides of this issue. I mean that really smart people support this mine project and really smart people oppose it. I also know that there is a certain amount of misinformation and even mud-slinging going on with this project. I am interested in facts, as much as they can be ascertained, and reasonable respectful discussions, not shouting matches, although I do excuse people for feeling passionate about the issue.

I’m going to share some of these conversations over the next few weeks with the hope that it might help to inform the public debate about the project. To start, above you will find part one of a lecture given last weekend at the College of St. Scholastica. The event featured Paula Maccabee and Winona LaDuke giving in-depth lectures. Here is a quote from the event’s facebook page:

JI MISAWAABANDAAMING – Positive Window Shopping for Your Future

LAND BASED ECONOMICS VS. EXTREME EXTRACTION & FOSSIL FUELS

Challenge Corporations & Reconsider the Path of Mining, Drilling, Pipelines & Pollution.

Protect the Water by Honoring the Earth

We are at that moment and we are the people who have the opportunity to make choices. This event is an informational forum in which we share some of the opportunities, challenges, threats and benefits of the choices we will soon make.

Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth Director, economist, author and speaker, will discuss the pipelines intended and projected for this region, as well as the socioeconomics and cultural impacts of large industrial undertakings in Native America.

Paula Maccabee, Water Legacy Advocacy Director and Legal Counsel, will discuss the toxic pollution that would be release from PolyMets proposed open-pit sulfide mine in Northern Minnesota and how citizens can make a difference during the crucial public comment period that is happening now until March 13th, 2014.

ALL PROJECTS NEED CITIZEN & TRIBAL INPUT

When I have time I will post the second half of this interview which features Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth. I’ll also post two or three of the other significant interviews that I conducted on the subject sometime soon, there is a little less than a month remaining for you to share your official comments and questions about the proposed environmental impact statement. Please note that I am mainly a citizen-journalist type, and I lean heavily in the direction of radio, not video. In the case of this particular piece it is helpful to view the slides, but you can also learn a lot about her perspective by just listening along.

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