Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mining Industry Backers Already Signaling Hard Line

The WMC's energy and environmental spokesman Scott Manley wants the GOP to steamroll a mining bill and cites last session's failed Assembly measure as the model:

The Legislature nearly crossed the finish line last session with a bill that would have provided the clarity and certainty needed to attract mining investment to Wisconsin while protecting the environment. Lawmakers need to pick up where they left off and pass the iron mining reform bill in January.
State Sen. Tim Cullen, (D-Janesville) is looking for a different kind of measure that might find broader support and provide business certainty - - a tough assignment - - but this is the heart of his case:
Last session's bill attempted to legalize the devastation of Wisconsin's waterways.

That action would fall in direct violation of the state constitution, which is clear in its language that no individual or company can own our waterways or is entitled to destroy them. AB 426 would only lead to a legal stalemate and fail to create good mining jobs.

Ask the mining industry - mining companies won't invest in a state with a business environment that creates endless legal hurdles.

It has become clear to me that AB 426 was a political document, which is why it failed to receive broader support. Now that the latest round of elections is over, both sides have indicated that they want to work together to pass a mining bill that works for Wisconsin.
Manley takes a harder line:

Those in the anti-mining crowd continue to trot out their distortions and scare tactics about environmental impact. However, the Legislature's nonpartisan attorneys confirmed that the mining bill does not roll back any water quality, groundwater quality or air quality standards.

Indeed, the DNR has characterized the bill as giving the agency all the tools it needs to safely address environmental impacts from mining both on and off the mining site. The breathless claims of environmental devastation from anti-mining special interests are simply untrue.
Others may advocate for minor tinkering with our mining laws, while promoting the false hope that taking a minimalist approach to reform will attract mining investment and jobs. They are wrong.
Manley's troops could win the battle - - the GOP has a big majority in the Assembly and picked up strength in the Senate - - but still could lose the war, I'd argued, through ideological arrogance:

The GOP, with majorities in both the Assembly and Senate after January, is looking to achieve two things:

Reward industry, at any cost to land and water resources which belong to all citizens, and to which Native Americans hold separate and inviolable treaty rights.

Get over the defeat earlier this year in the Senate - - with a swing GOP vote - - of the Assembly's politically-toxic iron mining bill and put that feather back in Gov. Walker's cap.

Revenge legislation approved by a gerrymandered Legislature will land in court and fail there.


Anonymous said...

Arrogance leads to litigation- a new tradition in Wiscosnin.

Anonymous said...

After surviving a recall and then given a bullet proof majority in the legislature, Scotts Walker and Fitzgerald will calmly and graciously suggest that perhaps the mining laws could stand a little updating to catch up with the times. It looks like that mining committee of Cullen, Jauch and Schultz has been working awfully hard lately and its just too bad that they haven’t been able to come up with something yet; perhaps they need a good long break from the stress of it all.

Well lookie here; there’s an Iron mining bill already passed by the assembly and a few changes to the sulfide mining laws could really help lift that moratorium which has been keeping economic development a bit stagnant. Yes, I think we can fix things up right away and this should put a big smile back on the face of that miner on our state flag (it seems that he has been a bit down lately).

What is that sound of drums out in the rotunda? Kind of a catchy beat and I am getting into the rhythm; I think there should be lyrics:

Boom boom boom boom
Boom boom boom boom
Hi how are ya
Hi how are ya
Mine the iron
In Pen o kees
Ya ya ya ya
ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

The white racists will be stopped. There will be no mining. Killing the wolf has now killed the mine. The native people will say no and there can then be no mine. The white racists will pass their laws to start mining and commit genocide on native people, but the people will just say no, and then it cannot be. Native people will remember those who worked to allow mining that would kill their people and then they will take the deer and the fish they need to survive and leave the whites with none. The whites, who only hunt and fish for sport will not be given anything to chase or catch. The native people have reserved this for themselves to live, not for the whites to play. You will know this when you hear the rifle in the night. It will be the sound of native warriors protecting and providing for the people and fighting against the whites and the mine.

Anonymous said...

Any form of the mining bill must contain a natural resource tax to benefit all Wisconsinites.

Gareth said...

A friend who was recently elected to the Assembly is already being pressured by the usual unions, working through a Republican lobbyist, to back the law. They made assurances that the the new law had nothing to do with the Gogebic iron mine, which my friend interpreted as a bald-faced lie.

At least there will be lots of work for attorneys.

James Rowen said...

I found this link in the version of my posting on the Journal Sentinel Purple Wisconsin site:, and will give it a better ride tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Woodsperson Dick Thiede is an anti-mining extremist whose main worry is that the wrong kind of people might move in next door to his comfortable lake front retirement home. Another pseudo arm chair expert on things which he knows nothing about. I think he may still be claiming that the iron ore doesn’t even exist.

Anonymous said...

Really? This shows that either you have very low reading comprehension skills, or you are relying on misinterpreted second hand information.

Yes. There is a mention of a theory that the ore body does not exist as an economically viable body of ore to extract. However, in the context of the entire body of Mr. Thiede's text, it is not ever suggested that the iron ore does not exist.

I encourage all with an interest in this mining topic to read the above referenced Woodsperson blog. In contains a wealth of well researched factual information, as well as thoughtful speculation as to the purpose of the proposed mining law changes, and the strategies of Gogebic Taconite in this pursuit.

Read it carefully, then draw your own conclusions.


A respectful miner... said...

@5:22- "bullet proof majority in the legislature, Scotts Walker and Fitzgerald will calmly and graciously suggest ?"

You must be a gun owner.
You don't know Walker and Ftizbag at all.
You are arrogant
You ain't no poet
You like to rub people's faces in it
Can't wait to see a tribal leader look in your cold eyes and make you pee in your pants as he takes his tomahawk and splits the mining contract in two and says - not in my backyard. You will not rape our sacred land.

Mitch said...

I've talked to a geologist I know, who has been following the mining bill, and even testified against it last year.

He thinks the Penokee Hills mine is dead, no matter what the Legislature does. That ore is very low-quality taconite, and not profitable to mine unless the price of iron ore is really high. Four years ago, when the mine proposal was first floated, the price of iron or was sky-high, but it has crashed in the last few years, as iron from China and other places gluts the market.

If the Penokee mine is dead, and all those thousands of allegedly high-paying jobs are not coming to the North Country, what's the point of pushing through this bill?

That's not a rhetorical question. I suspect the Penokee mine was bait, and the hook is somewhere else in the state.

Anonymous said...


What would Walt Bressette do?

[ R E S P E C T ]

Anonymous said...

Check out the Woodsperson blog referenced above. It covers the geology, the international ore market, and speculates as to what is the actual goal and purpose of the change in mining regulation.

Anonymous said...

Scott Walker and Scott Fitzgerald are giggling like a couple of school kids as they complete the final adjustments of their newest "bomb". If the environmentalists aren't wetting their pants yet, they soon will be. Wisconsin wins, you lose.

Anonymous said...

Chris Cline and his coal mining industry has been specifically targeted by Obama for elimination, and this does not set too well with him. He is particularly irked that Wisconsin supported Obama, but is overjoyed with the failed recalls against Walker and Fitzgerald and the republican majority in the legislature. He now views Wisconsin as the battleground for favorable mining legislation which will spread throughout the country. The goal at this time is to get as many mining permits approved as possible in Wisconsin and this has been a personal goal which he will not abandon until it has been achieved. He takes particular pleasure in defeating environmentalists, but does not consider them much of a challenge anymore and his ultimate prize will be defeating the EPA. It is a game, a mine game.

Anonymous said...

Scott Walker and Scott Fitzgerald are giggling like a couple of school kids as they complete the final adjustments of their newest "bomb". If the environmentalists aren't wetting their pants yet, they soon will be. Wisconsin wins, you lose"

Wins what, exactly? Wins all the wonderful wealth that unregulated mining brought to Michigan?