Biden slaps 20-year mining ban on Minnesota land, gives more power to China

Biden admin passes 20-year mining ban on more than 225K acres of northern Minnesota forest

Despite the supply of precious minerals in the U.S. being depleted, the Biden administration made a policy move last week that will only exacerbate the problem, according to GOP lawmakers and experts.

"This has been a long problem, but the Green Movement is essentially a reverse opium trade, where the United States buys overpriced green technologies from Chinese manufacturers that, in turn, makes our manufacturing more expensive," Common Sense Society executive director Christopher Bedford said Friday in reaction on "Mornings with Maria."

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture under President Biden announced the 20-year withdrawal of more than 225,000 acres of northern Minnesota forest land, which is home to some of the largest domestic mineral reserves.

According to the House Committee on Natural Resources, this ban includes the Twin Metals mine, which taps into vast domestic supplies of minerals like copper and nickel that are necessary for renewable energy, computer systems, defense applications and essential household products.


The committee wrote in a press release that the announcement represents the Biden administration’s intent "to block access to those resources."

Mining truck carries minerals

Banning mining operations in northern Minnesota for at least 20 years will make U.S. manufacturing more expensive and outsource mineral reserves to China, according to Common Sense Society executive director Christopher Bedford. (Getty Images)

"If Democrats were serious about developing renewable energy sources and breaking China's stranglehold on the global market, they would be flinging open the doors to responsible mineral development here in the U.S.," Chairman Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., said in a statement. 

"We cannot have a future of renewable energy without minerals, period — not to mention their necessity to our defense systems, satellites, cellphones and virtually every other advanced technology. While Democrats play political ping pong with American industries, China and Russia are laughing straight to the bank."

Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., called the legislation "an attack on our way of life."

"Joe Biden banned mining in 225,000 acres of Minnesota's Iron Range, and locked up development of taconite, copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum-group elements, and more," Stauber also said in the committee statement. "Unfortunately, this harm to our country and our future has become the norm, as this president’s goal is to put America last."

Policy expert Bedford agreed with the Republican lawmakers, claiming this move gives more power to China and other adversaries.

"We can no longer compete with the Chinese, who undercut our industries in the United States. It's wild to see," Bedford told host Maria Bartiromo. "Now, shutting down another copper mine and the waters around Minnesota… copper is something that's pretty essential on high-powered computer chips. Copper's something we use in our ammunition."

All three criticized the president for continuing to push forward an "America-last" agenda.

"If the Biden administration is over and over again going to shut down our ability to do mining of a precious and important metals, shut down our ability to take energy from the ground, then the end result is going to be, as opposed to a strong America, the self-reliant, one that's reliant on potential adversaries or open adversaries like China," Bedford said.


"The administration's decision to withdraw this mineral-rich area — blatantly targeting one of our country’s most promising mines — is short-sighted, foolish and completely unscientific," Westerman said. "Unfortunately, President Biden doesn't seem to mind if Minnesota mining communities and the entire American economy pay the price."

"The only winner here is China," Stauber admitted, "as Joe Biden continues to hand our foreign adversaries every advantage possible. I can assure you that this administration, from the president to the Forest Service, to the Interior Department, will answer for the pain they elected to cause my constituents today."