The Michigan Strategic Fund is currently considering a $50 million grant for the Copperwood project.
To quote Highland Copper's CEO Barry O'Shea: "I can tell you with certainty that an award of this nature will move the needle significantly in terms of how our debt providers and our equity investors look at our company. It's not only a large financial boost for the project, but it is a true endorsement."
In other words, a failing foreign extractive company wants to use a Michigan endorsement as leverage to woo private investors and take out debt. Is that really an appropriate use of State funding? Fortunately, multiple MSF board members have expressed doubts regarding the necessity and wisdom of the grant, and the decision has been deferred to subcommittee for expedited consideration.
$50 would more than double Highland Copper's bank account, but more importantly, an official State endorsement could trigger an avalanche of fresh investment, as well as additional grants and bank loans, potentially resulting in the capital necessary to finally begin construction. On the other hand, if the grant is rejected it would represent a major setback, not to mention deliver a powerful message to Highland Copper's investors!
Registration is now open to make a public comment at the March 26th Michigan Strategic Fund board meeting. The meeting will take place at 10AM EST over Zoom, and you do not need to be a Michigander to participate, nor do you need to identify yourself in any way. You will have up to three minutes to speak.
You may also send written comments to this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (use a strong subject line!)
You may also submit supporting materials, which the MSF will access when you give your comment. Use this opportunity to get visuals in front of the board members: maps, documents, studies, photos. Even after the meeting concludes, they may continue to study what you have provided.
Here are PDFs free for use, either as supporting materials or as the basis to formulate a comment.
Write to her TODAY and urge her to reject the grant.
Tell her that no, you do not support using State funding to subsidize the storage of 30+ million tons of toxic waste in unprecedented proximity to Lake Superior, a full 10% of the world's surface freshwater, nor do you support subsidizing the sabotage of one of the most beloved outdoor recreation zones in the Midwest.
NOTE: Those from out of state might choose to specifically emphasize the importance of their tourist dollars!