Saturday, July 29, 2017

Walker to sacrifice DNR, PSC and WisDOT integrity for 'Wisconn'

[Updated from 7/28/17] Well, now we know that when Walker says "Wisconn," it's more than a talking point, as intends to overturn swaths of state law for Foxconn on top while handing over boatloads of taxpayer cash and borrowing.

Walker is introducing legislation ending for Foxconn adherence to basic DNR environmental water, wetlands and land use rules, along with PSC rules and policies, and also a dedicated quarter-billion dollars dedicated borrowing so WisDOT hurries to finish I-94 expansion from Milwaukee across Foxconnland to the Illinois state line, the Wisconsin State Journal reports

The bill lawmakers will consider as early as Tuesday allows the company to move or change the course of streams, build man-made bodies of water that connect with natural waterways and discharge materials in state wetlands without authorization from the state Department of Natural Resources. It exempts the company from being subject to an environmental impact statement...
The bill also exempts public utility projects for the Foxconn campus from getting approval from the state Public Service Commission before building or relocating transmission lines, and changes rules for tax-increment financing districts.
And here's a major con in Walker's plan:
Federal environmental regulations would still apply.
Because we all know that Trump's EPA, with the cooperation of Wisconsin's AG Brad Schimel, is wiping out federal environmental clean air and water rules and protections - - which is why we are seeing news stories like this:
Trump taking hatchet to EPA
And Trump had said in the campaign he wanted to crush the agency, leaving "a little bit."

Does that sound like a reliable way to keep Wisconsin's waters and air unpolluted, or to honor the state's constitutional guarantee to accessible, enjoyable and healthy water, still summarized this way?
Wisconsin 's Waters Belong to Everyone
Remember that despite what the state constitution decrees, the DNR under Walker's 'chamber of commerce' direction has been researching at the senior management level how to use weaker federal environmental as the excuse to pre-empt and bury Wisconsin's long-established commitment to the public interest in land of Gaylord Nelson, Aldo Leopold and John Muir.

Furthermore, the Walker bill would guarantee that any business considering a Wisconsin project will ask for Foxconn subsidies, Foxconn DNR exemptions, Foxconn PSC privileges and Foxconn road-building priorities.

I apologize for earlier noting that the already shorthanded DNR would have trouble handling environmental reviews for various Foxconn activities, because there won't be any.

I also apologize for thinking that "Wisconn" was just a talking point and '18 election frame, because Walker intends to convert Wisconsin to Wisconn, a corporate state, without a new constitutional convention.

I apologize for understating the expansion of corporate control of Wisconsin and its environment, but this was months before we had bheard of Foxconn and Wisconn.

And if you don't like it, you can, as Walker just said

"...go suck lemons."


Anonymous said...

This is a horrible precedent.

Walker adopts his own Chinese environmental like policies for Wisconsin and the Great Lakes?

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a horrible person?
So won't this open up an immense amount of litigation which will turn this into a boondoggle similar to the GT mine?
As a famous movie character once said, "stupid is as stupid does".

College Drop Out Governor said...

enter the nee US Supreme Court. I'm not optimistic.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Also worth noting, Wisconsin AG/GOP hack Brad Schimel was tweeting out stuff yesterday about how great this Fox-con is, so don't expect to get any fair looks at environmental violations from that crook.

So vote his ass out in 2018 as well

Unknown said...

Time to acknowledge the rights of nature to exist, persist and flourish. We have formed the Great Lakes Rights of Nature Coalition which will lead to legal structures being enacted all around the great lakes that will remove the power of corporations to destroy them and give the lakes and their ecosystems standing in courts of law.