Crow Wing Power Cooperative recently announced what I would call an “out of sight, out of mind” policy about the Emily manganese-mining project. In a presentation at the Brainerd Library on Jan. 10 the Crow Wing Power public relations manager explained that the company wants to avoid polluting in Minnesota, but is considering polluting in North Dakota or Wisconsin instead. The company would consider processing manganese ore in other states where environmental regulations are less restrictive.
The fact that the public spokesperson for the company can only name one of the 100 chemicals of concern for their proposed mining project suggests to me that they are not taking the local environmental management of the project seriously either. “The consulting company hired by Crow Wing Power is monitoring the lakes for about 100 chemicals on a monthly basis; for example, barium” said the public relations manager. “I can’t remember what the other chemicals are,” the manager continued.
Crow Wing Power then used unnamed foreign companies (from “The Ukraine” and “Hun-gary”) as straw men to distract local citizens from the threats posed by the project. According to the public relations manager, these foreign companies, which supposedly also bid on the land that contains the manganese ores now owned by Crow Wing Power, are more likely to disregard our nation’s laws and “generally do whatever they want.”
If I understood the full explanation from the spokesperson, this is because American citizens are better informed and more responsible than people elsewhere in the world.
You would have to be a poorly informed American to believe that put down.
That is why I would call the company’s position “out of sight, out of mind.” A company that disrespects other companies behind their backs will probably disrespect local citizens behind their backs too.