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Letter: Mining reform bill does not serve people of state

10:47 PM, Mar. 6, 2013  |  Comments

The "Mining Reform Bill," SB 1, does not serve the economic interests of the people of Wisconsin for many reasons. For example, while it may bring 200 jobs to an economically challenged area there is no reason to believe that locals will have the skills to get most of those jobs.

In that SB 1 takes provisions for groundwater protection away from ferrous mining, there is every reason to believe it will cost jobs in the area's recreation industry. In that it is an extraction-based industry, the economic benefit is temporary in nature, and when the jobs go the waste and groundwater contamination will be left.

Whatever infrastructure is left will largely be industry specific and left to rust and rot like the contaminated shoreline and ore dock in Ashland. In that SB 1 slashes the waste rock provisions, fees paid by the company to the state and local authorities, from $7.03 per ton to $0.027 per ton will place the costs of building and maintaining significant portions of that infrastructure on the local and state economy, largely for the benefit of an out-of-state business entity and its owners.

This just seems like more of the kicking the can down the road mentality, just short-term returns and fixes, against higher future costs, that has made the deplorable mess in Washington. It simply has to stop.

Charles Wingrove

Sheboygan

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