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Mining bill a Trojan Horse

Let’s say you were looking for the most inappropriate place in Wisconsin to put a mine.

You want a site that jeopardizes a crown jewel of the state’s park system and has the potential to contaminate groundwater and an entire watershed that drains into the largest fresh water lake in the world.

You are looking for a placement that could ruin the area’s tourism, hunting and fishing economies and, just for the heck of it, destroys an ancient indigenous culture.

There’s a perfect spot, but you missed it because GTAC already has dibs on the site in the Penokee Hills on Lake Superior.

They applied for a permit under the current regulations.

Apparently after doing their studies GTAC concluded they needed to remove environmental regulations and local control to continue, without taking into account the concerns of the Army Corps of Engineers, EPA or Bad River band of the Ojibwe tribe.

So with almost no chance of eventual approval of this mine site and a predicted glut of iron ore worldwide, why does the mining industry suddenly pay over $15 million in campaign contributions to the Wisconsin Legislature?

Is the mining legislation a Trojan Horse with the actual goal of a virtual elimination of water quality enforcement and the elimination of local control over the impacts of mining?

Is the Republican controlled legislature complicit to facilitate their “jobs potential” grandstanding and campaign cash harvesting?

While the folks downstate are told that a small group of crazy environmentalists and Indians are preventing the economy of Wisconsin from recovering, just to save a little swamp for growing wild rice, the legislature is changing water quality protections for mining in all of Wisconsin. This should be a concern to everyone, with frac sand mining and frac extraction of gas and oil possible in many downstate locations.

At the unofficial bipartisan listening session in Ashland on Feb. 9, over 95% of the people registering and testifying were against AB1 and SB1, the bills weakening environmental regulation and enforcement.

Up North, we’re getting tired of “carrying the water” for the rest of the state.

Down south, for the sake of your own water and local control of mining, ya’ll need to start paying attention.

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