PolyMet hires former MPCA Commissioner

Brad Moore, a commissioner for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under Tim Pawlenty, has been hired to be a lobbyist for PolyMet Mining Corporation.

“I’ve been working with Brad during his tenure at Barr,” PolyMet’s vice president of public, governmental and environmental affraise said in a news release. “His existing knowledge of the project and the process mean that he can step in immediately to effectively help the environmental review and permitting process move forward to completion.”

Moore was commissioner of the MPCA from 2006-2008 under Tim Pawlenty. He also worked for the Department of Natural Resources before that.

PolyMet has been lobbying heavily to get approval to mine copper and nickel in northeastern Minnesota. The plan has been slowed down as state and federal officials question the environmental standards of the proposal.

Moore’s most recent position was with Barr Engineering as Senior Advisor, Public and Governmental Affairs where he advised several companies, including PolyMet, on environmental strategy.

Moore’s hire will again draw criticism from some state lawmakers who complain that legislators and commissioners are personally profiting from the so-called revolving door.

  • Brad Moore’s career moves from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to Barr Engineering and now to the PolyMet Corporation have a consistent theme. In each role, he has been lobbying for PolyMet’s mining interests. My concern is not only that the “revolving door” rewards regulators who advocate for private polluters, but that persons who seek to protect clean water and the legacy of future generations may never gain access to the door behind which power is kept. We can only hope that, under the new Administration, government will become a balance to corporate interests, rather than their sycophant.

  • Jeff Brand

    This news is troubling as it means that Polymet has deep pockets and influence in all arenas of politics. In order to court an official with the stature and prestige of the office he once held, I feel that PolyMet wants to play ball to get this approved rather than to put forth the financial assurances to the State of Minnesota upfront.

    These financial assurances up front would provide taxpayers with a shield should an environmental disaster occur or that the company uses bankruptcy in the case that mining proves less than profitable returns.

    I do not oppose the mining operations in an area of the state that had been rife with unemployment and an identity crisis. What I will not tolerate, however, is a future where the Lake Superior watershed or the BWCAW is impared and the company behind it has no skin in the game.

  • Sue Trnka

    The longer I read about this issue and the more I see troubling stories such as this, the more my stance on this issue moves from being OK with PolyMet going forward if very strict conditions are placed on the operation to one of absolutely against the project in any form.

    I do not believe that PolyMet has the long-term interests of our state’s resources or citizens at heart at all. I understand that the promise of jobs and economic development is difficult to set aside…but I am very afraid that this project will amount to a huge boom and a much larger and eternal bust.