Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Guest article: The Political Project of MCRC v. EPA, Part 3: Sunlight and Skullduggery

By Louis V. Galdieri
Posted on Louis V. Galdieri's blog on Aug. 3, 2015
Third in a Series

When it comes to parceling out the land, water and future of the Lake Superior region to the highest bidders, few have matched the auctionary zeal demonstrated a couple of years ago by David Dill, a member of Minnesota’s House of Representatives. In the debate over the proposed Boundary Waters Land Exchange, Dill was among those urging that the state should exchange School Trust Lands in the Boundary Waters area for 30,000 acres of Superior National Forest.* Since by law Minnesota would be bound "to secure maximum long-term economic return" from lands thus acquired, Dill proclaimed, "we should mine, log, and lease the hell out of that land."**

Dill understood this much: if there is hell to be found in Superior National Forest, there is probably no better way to bring it out.

The unanswered question in Minnesota and throughout the Lake Superior region is not, however, theological: it’s whether extractive industries and the developments they bring will actually deliver "long-term" economic benefit for the region, and not just a short-term spurt or boom, or another period of destructive plunder followed by long-term decline. That is not just a question up for debate by economists and other experts; it is, at root, a political question.

As I’ve suggested in my first two posts in this series, the complaint filed by the Marquette County Road Commission against the EPA is part and parcel of an effort to shut this question down, or exclude it from public consideration.*** This complaint is only incidentally about a haul road. It’s part of a political offensive that aims to stifle debate and hand the future of the region over to unseen powers. Those powers lurk under legal cover of the dark 501c4 "public welfare" organization funding the MCRC’s lawsuit against the EPA. ... Click here to read the rest of this article on Louis V. Galdieri's blog.

Inset photo: Louis V. Galdieri. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

Author's Notes:
* See School Trust Land Exchange. See also Mar. 7, 2012, MPR News article, "Disagreement threatens to derail plan to swap school trust lands."
** Read about this law here.
*** See: "The Political Project of MCRC v. EPA, Part 1" and "The Political Project of MCRC v. EPA, Part 2."

Editor's Note:
Guest author Louis V. Galdieri is a filmmaker based in New York City. He and fellow filmmaker Ken Ross visited Houghton, Mich., in October 2013 and screened their documentary 1913 Massacre, about the Italian Hall tragedy. Since then he has posted several articles on his blog about present-day mining issues in the Upper Peninsula. This is an excerpt from the third in a series of articles Galdieri is writing on the Marquette County Road Commission (MCRC) lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning County Road 595.

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