‘I just wanted a fair process based on science that told us the truth. That is not how this feels…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The GOP-led Congressional Western Caucus hoped to shed light on Democrats’ corrupt effort to ruin a Minnesota mining company and then smear the Trump administration for supporting it.
Although the Bear Ears land grab in uranium-rich Utah during the waning days of the Barack Obama administration received more attention, Obama also made other twilight efforts to block industries from excavating natural resources.
Among those was a mineral-rich tract of federal land in northeastern Minnesota—just south of Duluth, at the edge of Lake Superior—that Obama sought to prevent Twin Metals Minnesota from mining.
After decades of allowing the mining company to renew its government leases, the Interior Department under Obama reversed course to appease eco-activists, delaying the leases while it claimed to conduct studies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“It was an Obama extralegal classic: The opinion ignored precedent, existing rights and regular procedure,” wrote WSJ‘s Kimberley Strassel. “In a midnight kiss to green activists, the department officially blocked the leases on Dec. 15, 2016.”
But after the Trump administration reviewed and sought to undo the move, partisan Democrats attempted to claim that it was he, not his liberal predecessor, who was corrupting the process.
This hinged on the fact that Chilean billionaire Andrónico Luksic, who co-owned Twin Metals, also was the landlord of the ritzy property in Washington, DC’s Kalorama neighborhood that was being rented by the president’s daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner—both White House advisers.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., chair of the Congressional Western Caucus, called the Left’s deceptive actions scandalous in a press release issued Tuesday.
“Today, my colleagues and I demanded documents and communications related to this land grab as we continue to pull back the curtain on the unusually shady practices of the Obama administration’s final days,” Gosar said.
The caucus followed up on a recent Freedom of Information Act request to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt with a letter to Rep. TJ Cox, D- Calif., who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources.
“Recent reporting suggests the decision to deny these previously renewed leases and withdraw the formerly leased areas from future mineral development were politically motivated,” Gosar said in the letter to Cox.
“… [H]ad the Trump Administration not reversed, [Obama’s effort] would have deprived northern Minnesota of an opportunity to generate thousands of well-paying jobs,” Gosar said.
He went on to elaborate in his press statement that “17,000 jobs, $3 billion for education, $1.5 billion in annual wages, $2.5 billion annually for our economy and a total of four billion tons of strategic-and-critical-
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a current 2020 presidential hopeful, acknowledged during a recent town hall event that she also had raised objections to the lame-duck Obama administration over its irregular proceedings—while leaving Minnesota Democrats to face the actual fallout.
“When you guys leave and are out talking about a job message for rural America, I will be left with the mess and dealing with the actual jobs,” Klobuchar wrote in a searing criticism emailed to then-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Although she said she didn’t oppose the end result per se, the questionable means by which the Obama administration had ousted Twin Metals ensured a reversal from either the incoming Trump administration or a court order.
“I am not for or against this project but I just wanted a fair process based on science that told us the truth,” Klobuchar wrote. “That is not how this feels.”
Klobuchar said the same callousness and arrogance with which the Obama administration had ignored her concerns over its Minnesota dealings was the reason Trump had been elected.
“Who cares about answering some pesky questions from a woman senator from the Midwest when you guys and the White House and the activists have all the politics down, right?” Klobuchar wrote.