This op-ed by Terry Stone lays out how DFL policies hurt Minnesota families. Mr. Stone starts with a hypothetical situation:
[W]hat would happen if two trillion cubic feet of natural gas were found under Eveleth this afternoon?
Stone then answers the hypothetical question:
Well, you can bet that the environmentalists would protest the press conference. Then they will claim that gas production, fracking, fracking sand production and pipeline construction cause haze over Voyageurs National Park. Friends of BWCA will claim that fracking water disposal will contaminate the pristine waters of the BWCA — even though it is on the other side of the continental divide. They will claim that the lights atop the drilling rigs will be seen all over the BWCA.
Labor unions will protest because the storage facilities are being built by the lowest bidder; a non-union shop from Georgia. (Congressman) Rick Nolan will claim that he wants the jobs of gas production but he can’t support the present plan because it doesn’t assure zero impact on ground water. (U.S. Sens.) Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar will introduce a bill to protect land owners from getting rich. (Minnesota Sen.) Tom Bakk will introduce a bill to place a tax on gas production in Minnesota and place it under the Taconite Taxing District of the IRRRB.
The Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the Minnesota Environmental Partnership will sue to stop any gas production. They will claim that the production area is inside the buffer zone of their newly proposed International Heart of the Continent Biosphere Reserve that includes Quetico, Superior National Forest, Voyageurs and the BWCA.
The state legislature will revisit the narrowly dodged moratorium on fracking sand operations in Minnesota. The environmental front group, Save our 10,000 Lakes will hold protests at the capital during the special session to evaluate the impact of a population boom on the Iron Range. They will claim that fracking pollutes well water and that fracking chemicals cause genetic mutations and cancer.
While Stone’s reply is in response to a hypothetical situation, it’s believable because the organizations he cites have taken these steps in similar situations. Mr. Stone then asks what the consequence of the DFL’s policies are:
Under the sway of DFL liberal politics, Minnesota is screwed. Whether it’s pulpwood in endless supply, copper in world-class deposits, the world’s largest volume of liquid fresh water, 17,000 lakes or fracking sand in nearly unlimited quantities, Minnesota will find a way to screw the golden goose before it even hatches.
Average household income of GOP Chisago County: $67,075. Average household income of DFL International Falls: $30,094. The annual cost to your family of voting DFL: $36,921.
The point is that DFL policies have made significant portions of the state off-limits for economic development, with the anything-but-pristine Iron Range (logging) at the top of the DFL’s off-limits list, with Ely (precious metal mining) a close second and southeastern Minnesota (silica sand mining) third.
The DFL’s economic development playbook doesn’t include a section on balancing the needs of families with the wants of the environmentalists.
The DFL’s playbook is written by the environmentalists. That’s why Iron Range families frequently get the shaft without getting the mining jobs.