Earlier today, we suggested keeping an eye on the arguments made by PolyMet Mining that, despite the shutdown, state officials working on an environmental review of its proposed copper-nickel mine should be allowed to go back to work.
We wondered aloud: How does a court decide which business-government connections must be sustained in state budget shutdown?
Should it matter if the company and a jobs creating project for Minnesota are put in jeopardy because of the shutdown?
The answer this afternoon appears to be: No.
MPR News reporter Stephanie Hemphill covered the hearing this afternoon. She writes:
A judge hearing requests for exemptions from the state government shutdown appeared to take a hard line today.
Polymet Mining Company appeared before Judge Kathleen Gearin. The company asked that DNR employees working on an environmental study of its proposed copper-nickel mine be allowed to return. The company's attorney said the Polymet is paying for the work, so it should be allowed to continue.
Judge Gearin said she wasn't persuaded by that argument. She said a shutdown means a lot of people are suffering.
"If the other branches of government fail to come to some conclusion about the budget, and they have, business life, personal life, is just not going to be the same in this state for quite a while."
The DNR is not taking a position on the matter, but a spokeswoman told Judge Gearin that two other mining companies are also in the environmental review process.
Gearin predicted businesses won't want to deal with the state after the mess caused by the shutdown. She has not ruled on Polymet's request.
We should be so lucky if the mining companies decide that they do not want to deal and simply go away all ready! Unfortunately I see this statement as more of a threat. I mean if they wont want to deal with the state, what does that mean? Who do they think they want to deal with? What exactly is being suggested by closing with a statement like this? How long has this been going on? I have found information dating back to 1974. Maybe if we simply redefine the Arrowhead region as Wild Wet Lands District this can finally be over and done with. Enough is enough. Rite?