mining

©NRRI

Not much about coal is simple anymore.

Whether it's being criticized as a dirty fuel or defended as part of a mining lifestyle, coal even played a part in the last presidential election.

So because of - or perhaps in spite of - the controversy about coal, NRRI's latest biofuelis coming along at just the right time.

©John Krumm

John Doberstein says he cringes when the conversation becomes "What's better?  Good mining jobs or tourism jobs paying minimum wage?"

In fact, the Duluth for Clean Water organizer has gone on the record more than once saying he rejects the ideas that it's "jobs v. the environment" or "the Iron Range v. the Cities."

Doberstein isn't afraid of tough conversations - he just wants them to start - and focus on - what brings people together, and one of those things, he believes, are good-paying jobs that allow people to live, work and raise families in the Northland.

Transguyjay/Flickr

Doug Luthanen grew up in Ely, the town "at the end of the road."

He says that isolation, combined with a different kind of mining than that in the rest of the Range, created a unique culture of mines, miners and regular folks.