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Eye On Mining: Cliffs CEO talks clean energy, Green New Deal

DULUTH, MN — In early March, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a set of policy proposals, which his administration says will lead Minnesota to 100 percent clean energy in the state’s electricity sector by 2050.

“The policy builds on the success that Minnesota has achieved in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, increasing the use of clean energy, promoting energy efficiency and lowering greenhouse gas pollutions produced by the electrical sector,” said Walz at a news conference.

So what will this mean for the local mining industry?

We sat down with Lourenco Goncalves, the President and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, to find out.

“You can have the pipe dream – say from now on no more fossil fuels are allowed so everythings gotta be electric. Can you imagine northern Minnesota only with electric cars that don’t work in the winter. So it’s not gonna happen,” said Goncalves.

Minnesota isn’t alone in making the push for clean energy.

On a national scale, the Green New Deal calls for net-zero global emissions by 2050, among other things.

“It’s a pie in the sky that’s not going to happen,” said Goncalves. “So this new green deal is just a bunch of ideas that even as theory they don’t work, let alone in the real world.”

While Goncalves disagrees with those proposals, he said that doesn’t mean he’s not focused on the environment.

“You can have, at the same time, a mining industry that’s active and vibrant and generating jobs and generating wealth for the communities – and environmental compliance. That’s what we have here.”

You can read more from our interview with Goncalves here.

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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