At a Monday economic roundtable in Burnsville, Minnesota, President Donald Trump praised both his administration and himself for reversing regulations protecting Minnesota’s beautiful Boundary Waters wilderness area, City Pages reports.
“Under the previous administration, America’s rich natural resources were put under lock and key," he told the crowd. Job opportunities and "everything else" in the beloved Superior National Forest, filled with pine trees and clear lakes, were "ripped away" by environmental protection laws. And Trump promised to change that.
He reminded attendees of a promise he made last June to “restore mineral exploration for the miners and workers of Minnesota.”
“And we have really done that,” he said.
The mining operations that Trump described are proposed nickel and copper mines on the border of the Boundary Waters and spearheaded by Twin Metals Minnesota. The Obama administration squashed the Twin Metals mining proposal in 2016 because of evidence showing that the operations cause toxic sulfuric acid that could harm the area’s wildlife and pristine lakes.
And the history of Twin Metals' parent company, Chilean mining corporation Antofagasta Minerals, supports the Obama administration’s decision. Antofagasta's flagship mine, Los Pelambres, was responsible for toxic spills in the local region. The mining company was found guilty of blocking a local village's water source by constructing a waste dam in 2014.
In 2017, the White House, under Trump's direction, reversed Obama’s environmental regulations.It suddenly stopped a two-year research effort investigating the effects of copper mines near the Boundary Waters and gave Twin Metals free reign.
As The Washington Post notes, parent company Antofagasta is owned by the family of billionaire Andronico Luksic—also known as the landlord of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
“Donald Trump is selling out Minnesota and the Boundary Waters Wilderness to a foreign mining company, plain and simple,” said executive director of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters Tom Landwehr.