Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bad luck, evil DNR subculture wrecked WI mine plan

We'ee beginning to get a fuller picture of the internal problems that led GTac to suspend more planning for a massive open-pit iron mire in a pristine watershed across Iron and Ashland Counties.

Start with some plain old bad luck: GTac said it had discovered a lot of wetlands in the forested, rain and snow absorbing Bad River watershed that is cross-crossed by trout streams, dotted with lakes and traversed by a river on its way to wild rice estuaries at the edge of the deepest of the five Great Lakes, Lake Superior.

You can see how it could miss the wetlands there.

And there was another roadblock that was also not the company's fault. After all, it had dotted all its "I's" and crossed off them "T's" when it lobbied through bill it helped write and even routed $700,000 to benefit Scott Walker's 2012 campaign.

Then more bad luck: like a cruise line executive finding positive samples after a full-ship Norovirus cleansing, mining boss Bill Williams said he discovered some lingering environmentalism among DNR employees apparently not fully excised by Scott Walker and the "chamber of commerce" tools he'd installed atop the agency:
"But there is probably still a subculture at the DNR, for lack of a better word, that is green," Williams said.
How many surprises should GTac have been asked to manage?

Clearly, Walker and the DNR have some work to do to get that toxic green thinking out of an agency were it has no business thriving, even in a subculture.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp had already revealed the subculture in her historic expose of the DNR that helped get her appointed to the position by Walker in 2010:
...people who go to work for the DNR's land, waste, and water bureaus tend to be anti-development, anti-transportation, and pro-garter snakes, karner blue butterflies, etc...This is in their nature; their make-up and DNA. So, since they're unelected bureaucrats who have only their cubicle walls to bounce ideas off of, they tend to come up with some pretty outrageous stuff that those of us in the real world have to contend with.
Walker's proposed budgetary elimination of 66 DNR science positions, along with other program cuts and structural changes - - along with several years of science-crushing policy-making - -  will go a long way towards finally ridding the DNR of what Williams and Stepp say ails it.

No business should ever again encounter "green" secret agents at a natural resource protection agency.


Anonymous said...

damn -- you mean the agency that oversees natural resources thought they had a duty to protect the public from the massive potential damage of sulfuric acid in our drinking water and cancer-causing asbestos in our are?

Who would have thunk...

Well, at least the industry got its wish with frac sand mining.

Anonymous said...

Will the Walker people be giving the $700,000.00 back?