state hs hockey tournament

PolyMet’s Hockey Tournament TV Ad

By JT Haines, March 4, 2015

Admittedly PolyMet is getting a lot of free airtime from Newspeak Review today, but for your easy reference (by way of KSTC45 and a camera phone), here is PolyMet’s TV ad which is playing during the Minnesota State High School Hockey tournament:

Transcript:

What does it take to play on a tournament team?
The same kind of commitment it takes to open Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine,
And protect what we all treasure: our woods water and wildlife.
Congratulations to all the tournament teams, from PolyMet Mining.

PolyMet’s motivation with this type of messaging during the state tournament is exceedingly clear, and objectionable given that it is currently in the process of seeking controversial mining permits in Minnesota.

For comparison, here is miningtruth.org‘s summary of the PolyMet proposal, one of the numerous organizations in Minnesota raising important facts and questions about this company and this type of mining:

PolyMet Mining Corporation has proposed a sulfide mine called the “NorthMet Project” between Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. This project proposes to develop an open-pit mine to extract copper, nickel and other metals.

PolyMet is a junior mining company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. The company has never operated a mine before, and is backed financially by the Swiss company Glencore. Glencore has a significant financial stake in the company, and has an exclusive agreement to sell the mine’s metals on the global commodities market.

While PolyMet doesn’t have a track record to consider, Glencore does. The company was founded by Marc Rich, the financier embroiled in scandal and pardoned by President Bill Clinton. The company has been implicated in environmental disasters, labor violations, and human rights abuses around the world.

The Chairman of the Glencore board of directors is former BP CEO Tony Hayward, the man who was in charge when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused the largest oil spill in history in the Gulf of Mexico. He was made infamous for saying how he would “like his life back” while the water was being polluted and whole communities were being devastated by the spill.

In December 2013, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) published the “Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement” for PolyMet’s proposed mine. This mine plan lays out exactly what PolyMet is proposing. The public submitted over 52,000 public comments on this document, 98% of which opposed the mine as proposed.

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“Mining the Energy of the MN Boys’ State Hockey Tourney”: A Message from PolyMet

By JT Haines — March 4, 2015

As readers of this site know, I have taken issue with PolyMet’s advertising at the Minnesota State HS Hockey tournaments, and have been promoting the hashtag #BenchPolyMet for use on social media during the tournaments for further public discourse on the matter. Traffic on Newspeak Review has reached record levels each day I have posted about this. (For earlier posts, including a sharable #BenchPolyMet image, click here and here.)

Well, we need not speculate any further about PolyMet’s own thoughts about their ad campaign at the state tournament. Minutes ago, PolyMet delivered this message concerning its involvement — with the fairly remarkable title “Mining the Energy of the MN Boys’ State Hockey Tourney” — reprinted here in full (emphasis mine):

From: PolyMet Mining [mailto:info@polymetmining.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 11:42 AM
To: [Redacted]
Subject: Mining the Energy of MN Boys’ State Hockey Tourney

polymet

It’s tournament time!

Like many of you, we’re eager for Minnesota Boys’ State High School Hockey Tournament action this week.

We’re proud to be a major supporter of the Minnesota State High School League State Tournaments, allowing statewide live broadcasts and online streaming of tournament games. Follow those live streams here.

We’re also looking forward to the Environmental Impact Statement for the PolyMet Project being completed, with permitting to follow this year. We’d enjoy your support, too.

Follow us on social media. @GoPolyMet #PolyMet

At the games? Visit us at the PolyMet Mining booth on the concourse. We’ll have more information on the project and other materials on hand, and some giveaways too—all while we celebrate this season of hard work, long hours and possibly a few good puck bounces.

There you have it. PolyMet would like to mine your energy, would enjoy your support, and would like you to associate PolyMet and the upcoming EIS completion with our fair state hockey tournament. Public lobbying concerning their controversial mine proposal will be taking place right there in the concourse at the games for your convenience, to complement the friendly voice you will hear from time to time in the arena and on TV with messages about how much PolyMet cares about you and your community.

Responses to this propaganda campaign — particularly in light of the key moment we’re in for regulatory review — are certainly in order, whether directed to the league, the company, or elected officials, and I hope some take a little time to make sure their positions about this are heard. In the meantime, enjoy some great hockey this weekend folks, and remember to use the hashtag #BenchPolyMet.

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#BenchPolyMet Round Two: Boys’ Tourney Starts Tomorrow!

#BenchPolyMet, share freely

#BenchPolyMet, please download and use freely

By JT Haines — March 3, 2015

Good people of Minnesota and beyond! The Minnesota State Boys’ High School Hockey Tournament starts tomorrow — happy, happy, happy day. Except for one thing — PolyMet Mining Corp will once again be plastering advertisements all over our tournament, at the arena and on TV. That’s not okay. (For more details as to why, check out my original post launching the #BenchPolyMet hashtag here.)

A friend asked me recently — What’s the big deal? Isn’t this the same as any other company advertising?

This unsuspecting goal scorer has an unpaid sponsorship from a controversial international mining company!

This unsuspecting goal scorer has an unpaid sponsorship from a controversial international mining company!

Indeed, just how is this different from McDonald’s advertising during the state tournament? Great question, friend. To be fair, this is a actually a little bit like the Amazon-deforesting purveyors of childhood obesity at McDonald’s pretending they have kids’ health in mind during a kids’ hockey tournament. We shouldn’t allow that either. But there’s yet an additional problem here: PolyMet is currently seeking controversial mining permits in Minnesota, a process involving no fewer than six state and federal agencies, the next EIS for which is evidently expected this spring. In other words, PolyMet’s ad dollars and fabricated images are being tossed around right during this crucial democratic moment for Minnesota. Think that doesn’t have an impact? Clearly PolyMet’s Mad Men don’t agree. Meanwhile, proponents of the project keep insisting that we “let the process work.” Is public bribery and tournament propaganda “letting the process work”? PolyMet is a dangerous company. What they’re doing here is wrong, and it’s just subtle enough to fly under many people’s radar. I think it’s very much worth our attention, and based on the Newspeak Review and #BenchPolyMet traffic during the girls tournament, it looks like I’m not alone. Hoping to see an even greater response from the community during the boys’ tourney.

If you’re into it, here are some options:

  • Use the #BenchPolyMet image (above) for your cover photo on Twitter and Facebook during the tourney.
  • Tweet and post using the #BenchPolyMet.
  • Tweet @MSHSL if you have a message for the league (which ultimately has a lot do with sponsors).
  • Tweet @KSTC45 if you have a message for the TV station carrying the ads.
  • If you’re feeling saucy, tweet @GoPolyMet if you have a message for the permit seeker.
  • If you’re really feeling saucy, how cool would it be to see a #BenchPolyMet sign at the games?

If you agree that PolyMet’s behavior at the tournament is abhorrent, help call foul on this blatant insult to our intelligence and affront to our democracy. (Heads up, I will be up North taking photos for our pondhockeybook.com photo project on the Range this weekend, so won’t be as available to snag photos and create shareable images, but I will be checking for Retweet opportunities.) Feel free to tag @NewpeakReview, @JTH2020, and please use the hashtag #BenchPolyMet. And, best of luck to all the tournament teams this weekend. PolyMet or no, this is a proud proud annual moment for our state, and one that I feel very lucky to be a part of. Happy hockey watching!

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