Tuesday, December 12, 2017

WI GOP aims new, bigger dagger at wetlands & environment

Because the US Supreme Court might order more equitably-drawn Wisconsin legislative districts and thereby threaten GOP domination, Gov. Walker and his allies are accelerating their war on public resources to get their ideological friends and donors what's grabbable right now.

So next week the GOP-controlled State Legislature - - regularly in league with Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel, and the corporate special interests which underwrite all three branches of state government - - including the State Supreme Court - -  officially rushes to open between 500,000 and 1,500,000 acres of state-protected wetlands 

to permit-free private development - - and if there are negative consequences to the public interest, or to downhill or downstream users, or to constitutionally-guaranteed public rights to clean and accessible water - - the GOP does not care:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two legislative committees have scheduled a joint hearing on a Republican bill that would allow developers to build on state wetlands without a permit. 
The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform have scheduled the hearing for Dec. 21 in the state Capitol.
This is in addition to;

* The recently-rushed deal for Foxconn which allows the state-subsidized private company special exemptions to Wisconsin law and process to fill wetlands, build on lake beds and reroute  streams without permits or routine environmental reviews;

* The recently-rushed approval to allow metals' mining in Wisconsin which uses cyanide to to separate gold, silver, copper and other metals from rock, but which also produces toxins, including sulfuric acid;

* The recently-held assembly-line sham hearings to further ease already-weakened 'regulation' of industrial scale animal feeding/manure producing/groundwater-contaminating operations;

* The continual diminution of the DNR under Walker;

Note on the blog's website a State Supreme Court admonition against fills of waterways that can permanently harm the landscape and which the state is legally-bound to protect for all the people:
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin Supreme Court in its 1960 opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC and buttressing The Public Trust Doctrine, Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution.

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