FIrst Public Hearing On Wisconsin Mining Bill Leaves Some Divided

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

On Wednesday in Madison, the first joint public hearing of Senate and Assembly mining committees came together to discuss mining legislation that would streamline the mining permitting process.

During the hours of discussion on the topic of a mine in northern Wisconsin, Gogebic Taconite promised a $1.5 billion investment if this particular piece of mining legislation is passed. The company has wanted to would build an iron ore mine in the Penokee Range in Ashland and Iron Counties, but backed away last year in fear of lenghty permitting processes..

Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled for 12 hours, with testimony from bill authors, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Gogebic Taconite representatives and residents from across the state.

The hearing got off to a heated start when strict time limits and question restrictions were revealed. Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison, even said the hearing amounted to a “kangaroo court.”

Even before taking a stance on this Republican-backed mining bill, northern Wisconsin legislators called for another hearing where this legislation would most greatly impact. The authors of the bill that would bring the mine in have promised that the air and water quality protections in the bill would not result in degrading the environment.

1 Comment

  1. Norman Brehm 01/24/13 at 2:15pm

    If these people think that there will be no effect on the environment and air and water quality they are crazy. Just take a look at the environmental impacts mining has had on Michigan’s Kewenau peninsula in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Once known for it’s mining of copper. The people up there have struggled and had to move away because the mining companies pulled out and it has not brought great economic growth to the communities that were involved with the mining industry. All of the profits are out east in Boston, where those mining companies are based.
    Wisconsin needs to take a good hard look at allowing for any loosening of the mining laws that are currently in the law books. Also if the proposed mining company that wants to build this mine state that there will be no environmental impact, then why do they want relax the current mining laws.

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