Saturday, March 2, 2019

Evers to add scientists, public health focus Walker, GOP had cut

I had recently catalogued at least 33 ways that Walker had spurned or outright trashed science when enforcing his 'chamber of commerce mentality' on people and the environment statewide.

The good news is that Tony Evers' repair-the-damage budget
Tony Evers (cropped).jpg
would add ten science or specialist positions at the DNR where Walker had stripped away expertise and institutional memory while turning a conservation agency into a defacto Department of Commerce.

The bad news is that Walker had cut many more DNR positions, targeting scientists because GOP Senator and State Capitol corporate water-carrier Tom Tiffany told him to make the cuts.
State Sen. Tom Tiffany has owned up to asking for job cuts to DNR scientists, who he has said focus too much on climate change.
On Friday’s Devil’s Advocate radio show, the Hazelhurst Republican said he asked Gov. Scott Walker and his staff to include a provision in the state budget axing approximately 17 positions from the Department of Natural Resources’ Science Services Bureau...
The measure prompted layoff notices for 27 staffers in the science bureau, as well as 30 others in the DNR's communications and education section.
I would expect GOP Assembly Speaker and self-appointed shadow governor Robin Vos to excise Evers' proposed DNR science initiatives because Vos played a role in exploding the number of high-capacity wells which stress state ground water supplies and fuel the polluting expansion of large state dairy operations known as CAFOs:
...manure and its components, including bacteria, nitrate and harmful illness-causing pathogens, create a public health hazard for more than 100,000 families, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism found. Nitrate is a serious health hazard to babies and pregnant women, and people who consume water high in nitrate face increased risk of colon, kidney and stomach cancers
A role which Vos ran with after being told to do so by some of state's largest polluting agricultural lobbies, with an assist from the new-defeated GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel:

Vos maneuver could give corporations more WI groundwater

While Wisconsin is abusing, over pumping and contaminating our groundwater, the Legislature's GOP Assembly Leader Robin Vos - - a leading Wisconsin corporate water-carrier - - is seeking an opinion from GOP Attorney General and fellow corporate water-carrier Brad Schimel that could turn over more groundwater to corporate control and away from public oversight:
Since taking over state government in 2011, Republicans have made significant changes to natural resources laws, but they have failed to remove obstacles for frac sand mines, farms and food processors that want to dig more wells able to draw 100,000 gallons of water a day.
And big business hasn't been shy about its demands, noted in October:
A pretty stunning memo was sent last week by multiple trade groups and corporate special interests to the State Legislature in advance of today's hearing about the fast-tracked Wisconsin water giveaway bill I wrote about yesterday that puts groundwater and downstream users' access in private hand
And just to close that loop:

May 11, 2016:

Attorney General Brad Schimel Attorney General Brad Schimel A legal opinion by Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel that sharply restricts the state from regulating controversial high-capacity wells is being praised by powerful business and agricultural interests that spent more than $2.2 million to elect him in 2014. AG’s Ruling on Wells Praised by Special Interests that Spent $2.2M to Elect Him
Attorney General Brad Schimel
Attorney General Brad Schimel
Schimel issued the opinion Tuesday at the request of Republican legislative leaders who claimed the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was exceeding its authority by considering the cumulative effect that existing high-capacity wells have on lakes, rivers and groundwater when it considered whether to approve applications for new wells.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And none of those specialists or new positions will be groundwater experts because who needs that? Surprise me Tony and Preston. Surprise me and hire 5 people to work on groundwater because right now there are zero people, with the right backgrounds, dedicated to working on groundwater contamination from farming or manure. ZERO.