Tag Archives: testimony

The Confusion at Yesterday’s House Committee on Natural Resources Hearing

There was some confusion around the testimony of Julie Padilla, Twin Metals’ Chief Regulatory Officer, at yesterday’s House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on HR 2794, the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act.

Padilla originally submitted testimony stating unequivocally that “there is no potential for acid rock drainage.” Full stop. The emphasis on “no” is hers:

She then revised or, as she put it, “reframed” her written testimony to omit that sentence.

In her oral testimony, Padilla appeared to stick by her original statement, saying several times that the Twin Metals mine would pose “no” risk — “zero” risk — of acid mine drainage. Note when you are watching her testimony, however, that she is careful to qualify her original “no risk” blanket statement by adding that there is “no risk of acid rock drainage to the Boundary Waters from this project. There is zero risk to the Boundary Waters from acid rock drainage from this project.” I don’t see how that rewording safeguards the original claim, except that it allows for acid rock drainage outside the Boundary Waters.

Supporters of the McCollum bill asked about the inconsistencies and questioned Padilla’s motives, with Betty McCollum saying that Padilla “deliberately” removed the blanket statement. Padilla insisted the sentence was not eliminated, just “reframed,” and acted surprised by the contention. Here are the key exchanges:

Padilla’s complete original written testimony is here. So far, the revised — or “reframed” — testimony has not yet been posted.