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.Manley takes a harder line:
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.
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:
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.