Jay Duggan August 08, 2021

Iron Range mining’s future, and the future of the regional economic growth in the Iron Range, is based on new copper-nickel mining in the Duluth Complex. The most anti-mining nonprofit organization suing and lobbying to stop and/or restrict new copper-nickel mining is, Friends of The Boundary Waters. They have sued Polymet’s proposed copper-nickel mine five ways from Sunday. Every step of the way they try any and all angles and excuses to stop, delay, or kill the project. They are also starting in on Twin Metals, and if they haven’t sued Talon or the Essar project at Tamarack they will eventually get around to it. They also have a cheer squad that is excited the tribes are suing the iron mines and requesting new EPA mercury and sulfide rules to kill them too. Nice bunch our “Friends”. They think The Range can exist and support the regional governments and schools on canoe rentals and ice cream sales alone. Since they only visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day on paid vacations away from their Twin Cities office tower jobs, they probably don’t know they are asking for The Range to turn into a depressed and impoverished cold version of West Virginia. Or they do and don’t care.

The curious thing about Friends of The Boundary Waters is their Board of Directors is mostly lawyers and a few finance people, but one stands out. Krisann Kleibacker Lee. At her “real” job she is the “Lead Sustainability Counsel” for Cargill. Yes, that Cargill. The largest privately owned agricultural company in the world, based right in Wayzata Minnesota.

(150 years as a Minnesota company and suddenly “sustainability” virtue signaling is more important than their neighbors?)

As the “Lead Sustainability Counsel” for Cargill it is Krisann’s job to help design the legal happy face spin and write the manufactured corporate rules for things like child labor and deforestation and environmental standards around the world to please the global Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, and Amnesty International crowd, and to try and mitigate what they can so they don’t show up in the papers or in the court room. The reality is Cargill works around the world (like all global corps) in some places with very shady or non-transparent government actions (like Russia, Guatemala, Jordan, Ivory Coast, Zambia, etc) operating as a global commodity ag purchaser, processor, and distributor. Cargill has its fingers in so many pies with so many problems, their lack of ability to keep promises to fix any of them got them branded Worst Company In The World by the eco-nuts. I’m assuming all the failed targets met for sustainability were from agreements drafted or reviewed or signed with Krisann’s dept oversight. One of those places with an opaque government is Brazil. The Brazil govt wants to expand its ag output and exports. Large sections of Brazil are prime to be deforested and converted to row crop and pasture livestock farmland. There are semi-tropical river bottom areas called the Panatal and Cerrado, about the size of Texas, that will come online for soy, beef, and other staple crops in the next few decades. Realistically Rocks & Cows believe that to feed the world sometimes that means land goes under the plow, but the treehuggers and global greenies dont see it that way. To get on the good side of the global treehuggers that want no deforestation in Brazil, Cargill and some of the giant global ag corps helped draft rules not to clear land or buy ag harvest from farmers that “illegally” clear and plant current forest land. They have been accused of ignoring them, and admit failure to meeting their own targets. These types of “sustainability” agreements and government rules are exactly the type of thing Krisann participates in to benefit Cargill’s image and practices.

Like I said, Rocks and Cows really don’t give half a rat’s a#$ if Brazil decides they want to expand their agricultural land into a giant forested river-bottom territory and Cargill wants to buy every single soybean and cow they produce. America did it too. We call it Arkansas, Louisiana, East Texas, and Mississippi. The reality of the modern world is if Cargill isn’t helping service a growing Brazilian ag sector, the Chicoms would be more than happy to fund the whole operation and buy all the product themselves.

The hypocritical part is Krisann Kleibacker Lee, Lead Sustainability Counsel for Cargill, DEDICATES TIME AND COUNSEL AND THE CARGILL STAMP OF APPROVAL TO THE “FRIENDS” TRYING TO KILL MINING ON THE IRON RANGE, while her own employer hasn’t lived up (by self admission) to “sustainability” agreements KRISANN’S OWN DEPARMENT OF CARGILL EITHER DRAFTED OR SIGNED ON TO.

Does Cargill in Wayzata endorse Krisann Kleibacker Lee “Lead Sustainability Counsel” attacking mining and state agencies working the mining permit process right here in Minnesota? Have Cargill, Chief Sustainability Officer Ms. Pilar Cruz, and her top lawyer Krisann so thoroughly met their implicit and implied commitments to all environmental and labor “sustainability” commitments around the world that they have free time laying around to lend Kirsann’s legal and governance advice and Cargill’s good name to attacking the miners of The Iron Range? The child labor in the African rubber and cocoa businesses has been solved? No more trees will ever get cut down to produce a crop Cargill buys? Not one single feedlot they purchase from or processing plant they operate anywhere in the world has runoff and discharge issues?

Maybe Cargill CEO David MacLennan can explain why his “Sustainability” Department lawyer is lending credibility and efforts to screwing The Iron Range. The Rocks and Cows would really like to know. Being the first people that will step up to the plate in defense when (not IF but WHEN) the socialist kooks call their Animal Protein Division a climate disaster that should be taxed or banned, we feel stabbed in the back.