A new annual poll sponsored by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership found 48 percent of Minnesotans polled are against copper mining, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
Support for the projects has slipped to 39 percent, down from a high of 66 percent in 2009. Opposition has climbed from 19 percent.
The newspaper says this is the first time in five years that more people oppose copper mines than support them.
“I’m not going to speak to their poll results. But everything we’ve seen as an industry, both formal and informal, shows continued strong to overwhelming support for mineral development in Minnesota,” Frank Ongaro, president of Mining Minnesota, told the News Tribune. “That public support is reflected at the local level, the state level and in elected officials at the federal level.”
“I think the change over the last few year shows that, the more people hear about it, the more information they get, the more questions they have,” added Steve Morse, executive director of Minnesota Environmental Partnership. “When we first started asking this question, very few people knew about the issue. Support grew a little at first, and then it’s been dropping as the state has more discussion on the potential dangers.”
Click here, for the complete poll results.