Governor Walker promised us(among other things) that his administration would help create 250,000 jobs. After two years(of a four year term) the Governor has once again failed miserably, as his total to date of 37,011 leaves him 212,989 jobs left to meet his promise!
After two years of republican led civil war on our state, the republican minority in our legislature have determined that finally,even after have a special jobs session last time(where no jobs bills were passe), it is time to make job creation a priority.
While that seems like a noble and honorable goal, albeit two years too late, as always with this group be careful what you wish for. It appears that the only way that the republican minority know how to create jobs is by destroying our environment!
With the Wisconsin State Journal cheerleading them on, the republican minority plan on having a new mining bill(ie giveaway to the mining company Gogebic Taconite) done ASAP! The problem that they will not tell you(besides writing a bill that pleases a mining company instead of the citizens of WI) is that mining is horrible for the environment!
The evidence from neighboring states demonstrates that all taconite mines are polluters. A survey of compliance records from 2004-2011, shows that modern taconite mines are chronic polluters. Moreover, most of these fines and violations have taken place under Minnesota’s ferrous mining law established in 1993. Is this a mining law we should use as an example for Wisconsin?
Open Pit Mines result in Permanent changes to the landscape:
Open pit taconite mines result in permanent changes to the landscape. In Michigan and Minnesota, taconite pits and waste storage sites are permanent features that cover hundreds of square miles. Without additional information, it is unclear what the footprint of a taconite mine project in the Penokee Range would be, but it is clear that a portion of the Range and the resources and habitats that it now supports would be permanently removed. [Sierra Club, October 2011]
Mining Can Change The Chemical Composition Of Water And Could Affect Water Quality:
Mining can also have environmental impacts from changes in the chemical composition of water from the area of a mine and waste rock piles. Of particular concern is the potential effect of the water interacting with minerals from the mine — dissolving metals that impact the quality of surface water. The two dominant minerals in the Ironwood Formation, magnetite and quartz, are nearly insoluble and do not influence the chemistry of water they are in contact with. However, the detailed mineralogy still needs to be studied thoroughly, because bedrock geology is complex everywhere, and there is always the possibility of the presence of minerals that could impact water quality.
Previous Taconite Mining Legislation In Wisconsin Would Have Rolled Back Environmental Protections.
Rolls back commonsense environmental protections
• Allows mining corporations to dump toxic mine waste into sensitive wetlands and floodplains. (p. 23)
• Allows mining corporations to draw down water levels from rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater. (pp. 31-33)
• Significantly weakens wetland protections. (pp. 28-29)
• Allows iron mining law to supersede all other environmental regulations, unlike current law which gives deference to existing environmental laws, and unlike laws all other industry is subject to. (p. 18)
• Allows DNR to provide an exemption for a mining corporation from any requirements it sees fit. (p. 15) [Clean Wisconsin, accessed 1/4/13]
If this is the first act in their efforts to bring jobs to WI and it is bound to fail as miserably as everything else they try, I shudder to think what they have up their sleeves for next on the agenda!
“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
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