Mining petition drive hits all 87 Minn. counties

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A campaign by critics of proposed copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota says it has gathered petition signatures from all 87 Minnesota counties.

Mining Truth says more than 12,000 people have signed its petition, which asks Gov. Mark Dayton to ensure the environment will be protected in any copper-nickel mining.

Scott Strand of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says people statewide want Dayton to put water quality first when considering projects like the proposed PolyMet and Twin Metals mines.

Dayton has been feeling conflicting political pressure over mining from his environmentalist allies on one side, who oppose copper-nickel mining, and his labor and Iron Range supporters on the other side, who want the jobs. The Democratic governor has said he’s pro-environment and pro-jobs, and there needs to be a balance.

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