Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gogebic Is Back! The Great Wisconsin Mining Charade Plays On

What a shocker:

The company that basically wrote the awful, environment-killing Assembly mining bill that died last year in the GOP-controlled Senate still thinks it's the basis for a new bill next year that will allow it return to Wisconsin.

Stick it to Northern Wisconsin.

All is forgiven.


Anonymous said...

This looks like great news for Hurley. Let’s hope it pans out. Dig a hole, take out the iron, and then fill it back in. What’s not to like?

Anonymous said...

Currently we have a mining law which results in there being no mining. Even the democrats realize that this needs to be changed, but they are unable to come up with a bill of their own, so they just keep opposing whatever the republicans do. The economy continues to suffer and there is at least one company who shows an interest in moving here once they know what the rules will be. The only real “shocker” is why the democrats are opposed to helping them out.

Anonymous said...

There were enough votes to pass a compromised version of the bill...and the Republicans walked away. Take note: people are tired of GOP's "my way or the highway" mentality.

Joe S said...

This bill is ore about Walker and the Republicans settling scores than actually opening a mine. It is hugely unlikely that an iron mine ever will be built, for a number of reasons. First, the bill itself is built on an artificial distinction between "ferrous" and "sulfide" deposits. In the original bill, this distinction probably was inserted by Gegobic as a way of legislating sulfides in the Penokees out of existence, because by defining the deposit as "ferrous" it could ignore the sulfides that are present. The Vos and the GOP legislators, apparently unaware of this ruse, inserted language defining a "ferrous" mine as one not mining or disturbing rocks containing "significant" sulfides. By any reasonable measure, both the ore and the overburden in the Penokees contain significant sulfides. Thus ferrous the mining bill does not apply. In fact, the bill does not apply to ANY real world mine. Second, the Penokee mine was proposed at a time when iron ore prices were at historic highs. Prices have fallen considerably since then and are likely to fall even farther as China, Australia and Brazil expand their already enormous iron production. Annual worldwide iron production will soon be over 3 billion tons; the most generous estimate of the amount of iron in the Penokees is about 2 billion tons, only a fraction of which can actually be mined. Nor is it likely that there will be any iron shortages in the near future, as current reserves will last for about 1000 years. Moreover, the iron ore deposits that remain in Wisconsin, unlike those that were mined out in the last century, are of very low quality and are expensive to extract and process. That is why the mining companies want to eliminate environmental controls. The mine could never operate at a profit otherwise, and even then, it likely could never operate at a profit unless iron prices are much higher than they currently are or are likely to be. Wisconsin never will be a player in the iron market.

Workers Party said...

We passed this resolution in opposition to the Penokee Hills mine exactly one year ago, here in Stevens Point. The resolution still stands, in opposition.

Signed, people for indigenous people's treaty rights in the ceded territory of the Lake Superior Chippewa. That is all.

Please read the resolution; thank you for your time.

Ros said...

Dear anonymous-- you don't get it. The rock is pulverized to powder, to magnetically extract ore. The heavy metals, now "safe" in the rock are released. The tailings leach these toxins FOREVER. The DRINKING WATER of the region is contaminated FOREVER. The wild rice beds are dead FOREVER. Spawning grounds are dead... Our valuable watershed will no longer give us pure water. The tourist economy will be history. And "good news for Hurley?" Well, if you think that new jobs in health care will be good for Hurley, move there and enjoy the water: mercury, lead, arsenic, sulfides.

Max B said...

Be wary of legislation that proposes to regulate a project or type of project that
1) "won't be built"
2) "will never be built"
3) "is unlikely to be built"
4) no one is currently proposing be built
5) isn't or will never be profitable
This only lulls opponents into thinking that they don't have to fight so hard to oppose it because of reasons 1-5 above.
A legislative proposal of this kind should make opponents wonder what the polluters have up their dirty sleeves. I guarantee they're either passing legislation now to grease the skids for later when they DO plan to make a proposal, or plotting something even worse that we don't know about yet.