Emmer, Stauber dinged in Twin Metals lawsuit
A coalition of northeastern Minnesota businesses and environmental groups are alleging that two Minnesota congressmen unduly influenced the U.S. Forest Service to violate federal law when it agreed, under apparent political pressure, to waive its statutory right to approve or deny future mineral lease renewals in the Superior National Forest.
Those allegations, which cite Eighth District Congressman Pete Stauber and Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer, are part of an amended lawsuit challenging the renewal of mineral leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely. Plaintiffs filed the latest complaint in federal court on Aug. 27 as part of an ongoing effort to reverse a Trump administration decision to grant Chilean copper giant Antofagasta perpetual rights to minerals located along the Kawishiwi River, just upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness…
Plaintiffs in the case acknowledge that it’s hardly unusual for members of Congress to lobby officials throughout the executive branch. “What is unusual for a member of Congress is asking the Forest Service, in this case, to waive their authority forever, in violation of the law,” said Becky Rom, of Ely, who represents the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.
The article notes that this congressional duo of sulfides-heads are not named as “legally liable.” That’s because it’s the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management that are the primary targets. And, I suspect, because going after sitting members of the U.S. Congress that way is always tricky. Still, the plaintiffs must feel they’re on solid ground, to drag them into this at all. I of course concur. But I note that while a number of my friends and friendly acquaintances from college grew up to become attorneys, I’m not one, myself.
Unfortunately any DFLer’s self-righteousness on this has to be a little tempered by the fact that it’s not just Republicans who have been pulling ridiculous crap to try to get sulfide mining going.
Perhaps you’ve noted that when Trump sends his underlings to Minnesota it’s recently been to MN-08. Perhaps there is GOP internal polling indicating that Rep. Stauber’s reelection is far, far from a lock. (Internal polling that the Quinn Nystrom campaign has released has been showing precisely that.) He’s a conservative white male who supports Trump, and that’s shaping up to not be the best thing to be right now, for electeds trying to keep their jobs.
Update: Relevant to that last paragraph, here are some new poll numbers for Minnesota. Unlike some recent stuff that’s been widely pimped among both media types and scaremongering DFL fundraisers (I get that you gotta do what you gotta do), these are from a reputable outfit.
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