The 2013 Assembly Bill 1, regarding the mining permitting process, sits on a table during a public hearing on the proposed legislation at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King)
I spent many hours listening to the Madison hearing on the mining bill and was displeased with how it was conducted. I oppose the process of the hearing and the lack of access for local people. I want to have an opportunity to hear alternatives and needed changes, such as those developed by Sen. Tim Cullen.
I am not opposed to environmentally sound and socially responsible mining with corporations that have well-founded environmentally and socially ethical practices. We need to expect more from industries that we permit to profit from use of our resources.
We need to follow examples of Wisconsin-grown Fortune 100 corporations like Kimberly-Clark that have strong environmental and sustainable practices and work in good faith with citizens and conservation groups, including collaborative efforts with Greenpeace.
I grew up in northern Minnesota and know firsthand the ups and downs of mining and the long-term negative and positive effects. These regions have sustainable tourism-based economies and water resources that are placed at risk for a 35-year lifetime mine.
The future of job growth in these regions needs to have a long-term view consistent with Wisconsin's history reflected in the core principles of our Public Trust Doctrine.