Tommy Thompson's Former DNR Secretary Nails Mining Bill's Major Flaw
George Meyer was Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources
during the Tommy Thompson administration, and now serves as Executive
Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation - - a broad-based group representing hungers, anglers and others.
After testifying earlier this week before a State Senate panel on mining legislation, Meyer posted this comment Friday on his Facebook page, which I reproduce below with his permission:
After two years of saying that their legislation did not lower environmental standards, Gogebic Taconite finally admits that to mine in Wisconsin they want to lower environmental standards. The following is from today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel....so much for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's statements that AB 426 did not lower environmental standards:
The Journal Sentinel article which he references is here.Bob Seitz, a lobbyist for Gogebic, took a dim view of the committee's work, noting it isn't legislation but "a page and half of talking points." He said the Democrats failed to address issues on water quality, wetlands and groundwater standards that Gogebic wants changed. Democrats and conservationists see those issues as rollbacks of environmental protections.
There you go again; taking words and twisting them to mean something other than the person said. Changing standards is not the same thing as lowering standards and there are no standards that are being lowered to allow for more pollution in water ways. Rather, standards are being updated to accommodate modern techniques while maintaining environmental protections. George Meyer is not an elected legislator and will not be voting on the bill, which is a good thing because he obviously doesn’t understand it.
The Republicans will step up and get the economy of Wisconsin going while not damaging the environment, while the democrats sit around complaining. GTAC will start moving forward with investing in Wisconsin, the equipment manufacturers in Milwaukee will start expanding, and the people of the state will finally have something to look forward to.
George Meyer doesn't understand the bill? And the Republicans are going to protect the environment? This is Bizarro World stuff.
Mr. Anon 11:52, I call BS on you.
It is quite obvious to any thinking person that George Meyer has more knowledge about environmental matters in his little finger than you have in your whole body.
The techniques involved are no more "modern" than the digging of the Suez Canal.
You're still talking about shaving off the overburden in Ashland COunty, which means exposing it to the rain, and having pyrite leach out and cause acid drainage.
Except now you want this behavior legalized.
@anon 11:52 look - this mine ain't going nowhere - the Republicons will sign a bill that will be litigated for years to come. It's their choice - do it right or do it the Republicon way- sign and wait for litigation. I heard some common sense from Sullivan. The Republicons might be wise to listen to his advice.
People keep overlooking the major flaw in our current mining law; and that is that it hasn’t resulted in any mining; it essentially bans mining. Since mining is needed to enrich our lives, the current law has not helped us. The law needs to be changed and mining needs to return to Wisconsin if we are to prosper. And the sooner the better.
If mining was needed badly enough, mining companies would propose plans that would undertake the necessary expense to stay in compliance with the law and still get at the iron.
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