Monday, December 11, 2017

Toxifying mining bill gets Walker OK today, pollution to follow

Walker opens a new and toxic front today in his relentless war on water and the environment.

That's because within a controlled airport setting this afternoon, our GOP Governor and reliable corporate tool will reward special interests with a bill signing that opens Wisconsin land, rivers and streams to metallic mining that uses cyanide and produces sulfuric acid as a byproduct:
Governor Scott Walker to sign bill lifting mining moratorium
Under current state law, sulfide mining applicants had to prove that similar mines have operated and been closed in North America without polluting. Wisconsin regulators have never issued a final determination that any mining applicant has satisfied the requirements, leading critics to label the requirements a de facto ban on sulfide mining.

The new bill eliminates the requirements. It won't go into effect for six months. 

The bill was co-authored by GOP State Sen. Tom Tiffany, who played a key role in the unsuccessful effort to allow an out-of-state mining company to dig a massive open-pit iron ore mine in the pristine Penokee Hills:

Mining bill author admits it will cause environmental harm

Also being damaged - - The Wisconsin State Constitution - - which guarantees in Article IX that the waters of the state belong to all the people for their access and appreciation, and that the state must side with the public when those rights are violated for private gain.

It's important to understand that Walker has been at this for seven years, having stopped in his first few days in office a wetland filling review for a developer-donor and issued an executive order signaling environmental protection rollbacks.

Here's a recent summary piece about that, among many on this blog:
Walker's been for filling Wisconsin wetlands since forever.
Seriously. Since his very first Executive order.
And for specific wetland acreage eyed by a donor developer right after Walker was sworn in nearly seven years ago.
So of course now's the right time for the right under Walker to get even busier removing wetland protections - - and offering more take-the-water privileges for mining companies and large ag businesses - -  what with a possible GOP-deflating Wisconsin redistricting being ordered by the US Supreme Court.
It's pretty clear that soon all businesses in Wisconsin will get Foxconn-like privileges to fill wetlands, reroute streams, build into lakes and on to lake beds, evade environmental reviews - - and get state subsidies to boost their bottom lines.

Full Foxconn archive, here.

It's another step in the Republican demolition of our state's history and signature, unique appeal.

Goodbye, Gaylord Nelson, Aldo Leopold and John Muir.

Walker and the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce are taking what is not theirs to appropriate, transfer and sell off.
[Previous blog updates from 12/8/17 and 9/17/17 - - Walker will sign the bill Monday in Rhinelander, mixing re-election campaign talking points about jobs with meaningless rhetoric about protecting the same environment he has systematically damaged since his first few hours in office.]

[From 12/8/17 with information about sulfide mining, as the term doesn't indicate clearly the risks:

Metallic sulfide mining (aka hard rock mining) is the practice of extracting metals such as nickel, gold and copper from a sulfide-rich ore body. Sulfides are a geologic byproduct of mining in this area, and by exposing sulfides to the air and water in our atmosphere, sulfuric acid can be created — threatening to poison the nearby water, environment, and communities."]
And here's the bigger picture: 
Walker's office had indicated he'd sign the bill that lifts a moratorium on sulfide mining in Wisconsin - - - - and information emailed to me at my request on November 30th by Donnie LeBarre, a communications assistant in the Governor's office, indicates that Wednesday, December 13 is the deadline for signing such recently-passed bills.
I did some research on your question regarding why recent bills did not automatically become law after six days of being passed. According to information from the Wisconsin Legislature’s “How a Bill Becomes Law” guide, the six day window applies to the date the Governor receives the bill, and not when the bill passes the legislature. Here’s the relevant passage from the guide: 
“The Legislature informally furnishes the Governor’s staff with copies of the enrolled bill for analysis. When the research is completed, the Chief Clerk’s office delivers an official copy of the bill. If the Governor does not request a bill, the session schedule joint resolution sets a deadline when all bills must be sent to the Governor.” 
This final deadline for the Governor receiving bills is December 7, meaning all bills must be signed/vetoed by December 13 or else they become law. However, the Governor can request bills individually and sign them earlier.
So, essentially, the bills haven’t automatically become law because the Governor has not received them yet, and he can specifically request ones he plans to sign. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of everyone only thinking about themselves. I was in business (at a VP level) then retired and taught business at a university. I have always told my company employees (all0 and my students you can make plenty of money ethically and honestly. This continuing all for me is so disheartening and disgusting.