New poll shows great support of copper/nickel mining Recently a poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies of 400 registered voters in Cook, Koochiching, Itasca, St. Louis and Lake counties of northeastern Minnesota. The survey asked questions on support or opposition to copper/nickel mining in northeast Minnesota.
By large margins northeastern Minnesotans support the development of new copper/nickel mines and oppose new federal restrictions on mining throughout the region.
By greater than a 3-1 margin survey respondents support environmentally-responsible mining in the region. Additionally, by more than 2-1, respondents support the building of new copper/nickel mines and believe copper/nickel mining can be done in an environmentally and responsible way. More than 60 percent support the Twin Metals underground copper-nickel project.
'Support for the mining economy and for the development of copper-nickel mining projects is overwhelming across northeastern Minnesota and the Iron Range,' said Bob McFarlin, Twin Metals spokesperson. 'This extraordinary support reflects a strong belief that copper-nickel mining can help revitalize the region's economy, protect the environment and create jobs for generations of Minnesotans.'
The survey also shows strong opposition to federal agency actions being sought by anti-mining organizations that would restrict future development of federal minerals in the region and block all future mining projects. Seventy percent of those surveyed support continuing to allow access to federally owned minerals in the region, while 60 percent oppose actions by the federal government to prohibit all future mining in the region's Superior National Forest, and 66 percent oppose any actions by the Obama Administration to permanently withdraw federal lands and minerals in northeastern Minnesota from future development. More than 80 percent of those surveyed support the process of allowing copper-nickel projects to be developed and submitted for 'rigorous state and federal environmental review.'
Several questions from the poll included:
81% - Potential copper/nickel mining proposals in Minnesota should be allowed to go through the rigorous state and federal environmental review process, and granted permits if environmental protection standards are met. 18% disagreed and felt potential copper/nickel mining projects are to inherently harmful and risky to the environment that such projects should be prohibited.
64% - Potential copper/nickel mining projects should be allowed within the boundaries of the Superior National Forest, but outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, if those projects meet all state and federal environmental laws and regulations. 33% - Potential copper‐nickel mining projects are so risky they should be prohibited within the boundaries of the Superior National Forest.
Most telling about this survey is that the anti-mining crowd is opposed to ALL mining in northeast Minnesota. That includes taconite mining which has been a big part of our economy since the 1950s. 37% would support prohibiting all future mining in the Superior National Forest. 60% oppose such actions.