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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:26 AM


"... not been able to find a single example where they have mined without polluting water"



Strip-mine madness proceeds apace in Madison as the newly sworn-in Wisconsin Legislature, now firmly under Republican control, will again offer a mining bill to make iron ore open-pit mining more attractively profitable and theoretically clean in the eyes of the state. Rep. Robin Vos, now Assembly Speaker, said the new bill will be “nearly identical” to the old one, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A hearing for the new bill will occur sometime this month. But what few in power have heard so far is what our Native Americans and other conservation-minded Wisconsinites keep saying: a huge, deep, open-pit mine in that range will destroy the pristine landscape and inevitably pollute the water, and all the words on paper in the world, all the political promises and industrial technology on earth cannot prevent this.


Also disheartening is the continued insistence of the Journal Sentinel editorial board that a bill to make a huge, deep strip mine in the Penokee Range ”environmentally sound” is possible. If it is not possible to make huge strip mines environmentally sound in Wyoming or West Virginia or Alberta or Minnesota, why would it be possible in this hydrologically sensitive (and absolutely crucial for the Bad River tribe) area of Wisconsin? Have we not polluted our streams, rivers and Great Lakes enough? Would the editors wish to live near such a mine? And why does the newspaper continue to ignore the mountain of accumulating evidence suggesting that strip mining away mountains, aquifers, streams, forests is an unethical environmental disaster? Should we turn northern Wisconsin into the Appalachia of the Midwest?

It will be said, it is always said, that conservationists exaggerate, that not to strip mine the Penokee Hills would be to return us all to some primitive, un-metallic state and deprive the North Woods and our mining equipment manufacturers of needed jobs. It is an argument so narrow-minded, so economically reductionist and utterly lacking in imagination. For what we should be asking is this: is mining the best use of this land? Can we stand there, among those hills, and say it is? Surely the highest and best use of the open, wild land we have left is anything that does not destroy it. We are now so engulfed by our metallic, industrial, high-tech civilization that we cannot afford, ecologically or economically, to ruin or use up what’s left. But ruining and squandering what good land and natural resources we have left seems to be the economic agenda of most Republicans and a good many Democrats.


But fortunately the Bad River Band is not buying what the state is selling. When Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins, Jr. says that strip mining that part of the Penokee Mountains would “obliterate the headwaters of the Bad River watershed” and would be “too cataclysmic for our tribe to endure”, he is speaking in defense of something that is not abstract and is far more valuable than cash. Nor is Wiggins exaggerating; he is not a professional conservationist or journalist paid to protect “nature.” He is defending his native land and the people he represents. And he and his tribe remind us that what we are doing in the name of economic “growth” may well prove too cataclysmic to ignore unless our jobs and work become more about love and justice than money.

Landmark Wisconsin Mining Moratorium Under Siege
'Prove It First' law subject of 'well-funded mining industry attack on a grassroots and tribal movement'


Wisconsin's landmark mining moratorium, which has protected sacred tribal lands and other areas from strip mining for 15 years, is under attack by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and industry executives who hope to overturn the requirement that, before obtaining a permit, prospective mining companies prove at least one mine in the country has not polluted surface or groundwater.

So far, according to EcoWatch, "the industry has not been able to find a single example where they have mined without polluting water."

Nevertheless Walker recently said his top legislative priority in 2013 was to overturn the Mining Moratorium Law, also known as the "Prove It First" law.

The Flambeau Mine near Ladysmith, Wisconsin. A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources study of a tributary of the Flambeau River found recently that the mine has been discharging polluted runoff from the mine site since 1999. (Photo courtesy of EcoWatch)


“Governor Walker and state legislators are seriously over-reaching if they believe that Wisconsin citizens elected them to gut environmental laws for mining companies.” said Shahla Werner, director of the John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club, in a statement. “Governor Thompson understood that giving special favors to mining companies whose only motive is to profit from our resources and leave us with toxic mining wastes forever and devastated local economies was a mistake in the 1990s, and it still won’t work for us today.”

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Reply "... not been able to find a single example where they have mined without polluting water" (Original post)
Scuba Jan 2013 OP
hue Jan 2013 #1
Scuba Jan 2013 #2

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:36 AM

1. This really is unbelievably sad!!!! This is how the Repuke mining rich f**k*rs make their $$

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Response to hue (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:42 AM

2. Good grief, do you eat with that mouth?


Snort. Wanker and his cronies do inflame the passions.

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