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Readers react to mining law

5:31 PM, Jan. 25, 2013  |  Comments
The 2013 Assembly Bill 1 is one of two recently proposed pieces of legislation that would reform the mining permitting process. One was written by a Democrat and one by a Republican.
The 2013 Assembly Bill 1 is one of two recently proposed pieces of legislation that would reform the mining permitting process. One was written by a Democrat and one by a Republican.
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The GOP has made it clear they are writing the mining bill unilaterally. They made it clear in their last attempt that was rebuked by one of their own senators that they have little concern for the environmental impact of their bill. State Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, stated that as his reason for his no vote.

- Russ Schleicher

There does indeed need to be public input. However, last time around much of the public input that received media attention was sensationalist grandstanding and depictions of unrealistic horror stories. Useful public input about mining from informed sources is boring and hardly anyone but we engineering types would want to read it. ... This issue isn't new, and there is relatively little additional information that has not already been publicized during the past year. An overly drawn-out hearing process serves only the opponents of mining and the media.

- William Meyer

The whole fiasco re-emphasizes that Cathy Stepp should be removed as Department of Natural Resources secretary. Instead of cheerleading for the mining corporation at taxpayer expense, she should have been standing beside former DNR Secretary George Meyer in protecting our natural resources.

- Rich Wentzel

This mine is of the open pit variety and it will produce tons of tailings. If you Google iron pyrite, water, and air you will find some unsettling reports!

- John Enk

With modern technology and knowledge concerning the environment, I am sure we can mine for iron ore without wreaking havoc. We have time to write sensible legislation that will consider as many possibilities as people can imagine. We should take this time and not procrastinate so that we are rushed. Also, we should get input from as many people as possible. In order to have good ideas, you need lots of ideas.

- Melanie Clark

From around the web

More perspectives on the mining bill:

Passing a bill that streamlines the process for safe and environmentally sound mining could lead to as many as 3,000 construction-related jobs and 2,800 long-term jobs. We have the potential for a billion and a half dollar investment right here in our state that would be a lifeline to the people of Iron County. The benefits will be felt all across Wisconsin.

I applaud the Legislature for moving quickly to introduce mining legislation. Reforming current law to allow for a predictable and practical method to obtain a mining permit will help move our state forward.

- Gov. Scott Walker

Republicans have managed to take a bad idea and make it even worse. Gutting state clean air and water protections to help an out-of-state mining company dig a huge pit mine is a bad enough idea, but diverting taxes from local communities to Gov. Walker's scandal-plagued economic development agency, responsible for some of the worst job creation numbers in the country, is ludicrous.

- Scot Ross, executive director, One Wisconsin Now

I can't remember a legislative public hearing where as a committee member, I was not allowed to ask questions of the bill's authors, but was rather instructed that I was welcome to visit them in their offices later in the day.

- State Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh

The comprehensive mining reforms proposed in the legislation before you will help create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impacts from mining, while maintaining robust environmental protections. The legislation directly addresses many of the key deficiencies in our current law.

- Scott Manley, vice president of government relations, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

Draft versions of Sunday editorials are posted online on Wednesday afternoon for feedback and reader reaction.

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