Biden administration waiting for legal opinion before Twin Metals decision By Reuters

© Reuters. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks about food prices during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 8, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Ernest Scheyder

(Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday he is waiting for a legal opinion before deciding whether to approve Minnesota’s Twin Metals mining project, which labor unions support but environmentalist strongly oppose.

“We continue to wait for the Department of the Interior. They have to issue a legal opinion before we know what direction we need to take” at the Agriculture Department, Vilsack told a White House news conference.

The U.S. Forest Service, part of the Agriculture Department, controls the surface land at the site. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, part of the Interior Department, controls the underground copper deposit and must approve plans to extract minerals.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland declined to discuss the project when asked at a congressional hearing earlier this year by U.S. Representative Pete Stauber, a Minnesota Republican whose district includes the mine site.

The proposed underground mine would, if built, be a major U.S. copper supplier as President Joe Biden aims to build more electric vehicles, which use twice as much of the red metal as those with internal combustion engines. But opponents fear the project would permanently mar the Boundary Waters (NYSE:) Canoe Area Wilderness on the U.S.-Canada border.

Twin Metals has said the project can be constructed safely and in a way that boosts the region’s economy.

Vilsack had blocked the Twin Metals project when he served as agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama, only to see that decision reversed by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Vilsack in June said that as part of his deliberations he was trying to balance environmental concerns and economic potential.

Representatives for Twin Metals, which is controlled by Chile’s Antofagasta (LON:) Plc, were not immediately available to comment.

Vilsack has the power to block mining in the region for 20 years, though a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress earlier this year could permanently ban it.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source link

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button