8th District Candidates: Mining and Infrastructure

Updated: September 26, 2018 08:12 PM

It didn't take long, after the talk about emails and tickets, to get to mining. Specifically, copper-nickel mining.

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Independence Party candidate Ray 'Skip' Sandman continues to oppose it. "It's never safe, that type of mining is not safe in this water rich environment. If you notice in the last five years, or so, the water is increasing, we have floods now. Makes it much more dangerous."

He also showed disdain for Glencore, an investor in PolyMet. "There's no written agreement with any union as for wages. So what makes you think they are going to be living wages? Glencore has a history of economical disaster every where they have tried their mining, and also union busting."

DFLer Joe Radinovich mentioned he's a 4th generation Iron Ranger, and that he comes from a family of miners. But when it comes to copper-nickel mining, he said sometimes he agrees with people who support it, and sometimes he disagrees with them.

"The role of the government, and the person representing this district, is not to be a company man or an errand boy for corporate interest. But to make sure we are upholding the law on the books. Any project that can be done safely should be allowed to proceed, while we hold the standards in high regard."

Pete Stauber said about PolyMet, "It will meet every federal and state environmental regulation, otherwise they won't be able to mine the copper nickel. I think that very soon, the DNR will give them their permit to mine. We can do it safely, and we can keep our water and air clean. We have regulatory agencies that are following this process."

He added that he's the only candidate who fully supports iron mining, copper-nickel mining, and Enbridge Line 3, without hesitation.

Then, he accused Radinovich of doing the Texas two-step during the campaign about this. "Either you support copper nickel mining or you don't."

Radinovich fired back. "I've said consistently, as long as they can meet the standard. How do you know they will? You're not in a position to evaluate it."

As for infrastructure, Radinovich pointed out broadband as a top priority for federal funding. Stauber referenced the  need to replace the Poe Lock. And Sandman maintained that roads and bridges should get more money.

You can catch the whole debate online:

Or at 12pm on Sunday on WDIO/WIRT.

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