When it comes to Wisconsin waters, the tag line off an old song is 'danger, heartbreak dead ahead,' and it all began in 2007 when Koch interests anointed Scott Walker as the man for the job.
And about a year ago, these same special interests now aligned to serve Scott Walker and his corporate backers coordinated and produced a legal opinion from a far-right and ideological compliant Attorney General that is about to literally open the floodgates and send the people's water in perpetuity to the largest private users.
There's no way to minimize the environmental and legal disaster being imposed on Wisconsin and its publicly-owned waters by
As I wrote in 2013:
Ultimate GOP Environmental Target in Wisconsin is the Public Trust Doctrine
There is a principle in state law and history known as the Public Trust Doctrine. Though awkwardly titled, it's crucial to Wisconsin's appeal by guaranteeing everyone here the right to access and enjoy all waters in the state.
The Public Trust Doctrine dates to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - - long before Wisconsin statehood - - and is etched as Article IX in the Wisconsin State Constitution.
But this basic Wisconsin birthright remains under continuous assault by Gov. Walker, Republican legislators, business groups and even short-sighted judges.
And you don't have to be a water expert of political scientist to see that removing the Public Trust Doctrine from the state constitution, or watering it down to insignificance is atop the GOP's conservative and anti-conservation agenda.And despite alarms raised, Wisconsin under Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality' governance is:
* Approving a rush of high-capacity well permits even in areas with known groundwater shortages;
* Closing in on making these high-volume groundwater pumping permits permanent for their private owners without ongoing reviews of the downstream or cumulative impacts;
* Continually bending bend law and policy in favor of the big water users and even polluters who abuse the terms of their easy-street permits;
* Letting big corporate users take keep the public's water in direct violation of Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution, which has long-declared that:
Wisconsin's Waters Belong to EveryoneNo wonder the way Wisconsin's environmental legacy is being hijacked is seen as the model for the Trump administration's commandeering of the US EPA, the Department of the Interior, and other science-based public agencies and managers of public resources.