Michelle Lee, a leading candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 8th District, is featured in a debate on the future of copper nickel mining in Minnesota sponsored by the Citizens League. Lee was just one of four people to engage in the forum, along with representatives of the mining industry, environmental advocacy groups and a coalition of labor, community and business leaders who support copper nickel mining.
Lee believes the pursuit of copper-nickel mining in Minnesota for economic development is unsustainable and shortsighted, and offered several arguments supporting her position:
Each of the debate participants presented their arguments and were then questioned by the editors of the Citizens League Voice magazine. Lee stated that there’s a misconception about her opposition to copper nickel mining, that she’s against jobs and unions. “People want and need jobs,” Lee said. “They want and need good-paying jobs. And, they want to support economic development so that they can live, work and play in the Northland.” Lee questions whether residents believe copper nickel mining is the answer.
When asked about the jobs that would be created during the mining process, Lee questioned whether there was a shortage or workers or a shortage of jobs. “I’m hearing we have a shortage of trained workers,” she said. “When I travel the state I see ‘Help Wanted’ signs for truck drivers, for welders, for electricians. It’s the trades that are desperate for workers.” Lee suggests it’s time to “flip the switch” and advocate for greater vocational and trade enrollments as an alternative to a traditional college education.
The complete debate story can be found at www.citizensleague.org/voice