Saturday, February 23, 2008

Eric Z ponders Tinklenberg's Taconite

Developers are Crabgrass has a post up about Tinklenberg's Taconite!
My expectation would be that differences would be minor but telling. I expect Olson would have a more detached view, apart from jobs-for-the-Iron-Range being a myopic and governing concern. However, his advocacy of energy independence and energy alternatives - such as wind energy's potential for weaning foreign oil dependence and for creating manufacturing job potentials in Minnesota, is an advocacy that has to realize that copper and nickel are important for plant and equipment bearings, stainless and other specialty steels, and for equiping wind turbine generation sites and for arranging transmission grid access and management expansions. Any wind turbine, even a single small scale site, would involve clutching and control, generator internals where nickel might be a permanent magnet alloy component, and copper is the element of choice for coil windings. Without mining, recycling alone would be relied upon, and with an expanding world and competing nations, growth of the metals in use and available would be necessary. From that practical perspective, Olson would more likely be in favor of a studied and cautious approach - with minimized long term environmental downside, whereas Tinklenberg would want more jobs in Oberstar's district yesterday with myopia toward downside risks.

Indeed, Olson is solid on sustainable / renewable energy sources, in an effort to both, protect the environment and to end our reliance on foreign oil.

With the amount of traffic I am seeing with Tinklenberg Taconite, I think something deeper may be coming on this isssue soon!

1 comment:

eric zaetsch said...

It's a bit frustrating. I think there may be a tip-of-the-iceberg thing out there on taconite tailings, a big thing on the Iron Range - as a problem James Oberstar doubtlessly knows more about than I do.

However, so far the closest I could come to a smoking gun is opinion, in the City Pages November 30, 2005, Mike Mosedale item, "Brave New Highway." There, Miles Lord expressed the belief that the mining/steel interests simply want to have the stuff used so that asbestos-related fatal lung cancer [what Bruce Vento died of] incidence will be uniform statewide and not discernibly higher among Iron Rangers if the epidemiological studies are done.

Have they been done? Is the work done so far saying some tailings have asbestos problems, others do not, flawed? Some claim so.

The City Pages article is worth the time it takes to read it, to get a basic understanding of pros and cons so far reported:

However, I know of nothing more definitive. If the question is posed, perhaps those GOP dirt-diggers [I think they call them "researchers" in the GOP camp] will find and use what they can if Tinklenberg, excess baggage and all, gets the DFL endorsement for the Sixth District race against Bachmann.

My only hope is that more on the lobbying, the revolving door distastefulness, and possibly taconite will surface to scuttle the selfish ambition Tinklenberg is showing in light of the facts against his candidacy, and to scuttle the blind faith the DFL'ers who want and like the status quo "way things are done" despite also liking the possibility that Obama and talk of change might bring out a strong anti-GOP vote. I think Tinklenberg is selfish, and the DFL'ers who line up rank-and-file behind the bosses are short-sighted and very cynical about what they owe the electorate if they want to end up with majorities, long term, and not merely pushing short-term expediencies. As you call your blog:

I do not see it as I should join them for some imagined advantage of affiliation and drink the Koolaid or our guys, right or wrong; but that instead, they should EARN my loyalty one good candidate at a time.

And I'm still waiting.