February 12, 2016

Another attempt to stop mining (video)

An environmental group makes another push to stop the mining bill.

The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters resurrects its TV ad, in which it says out-of-state mining companies would expose families to mercury, lead, and arsenic. “These chemicals are invisible and tasteless and deadly.”

The league is calling on state lawmakers to kill their plan to relax regulations on new mines in Wisconsin. Anne Sayers, Program Director, with the league says there is a multitude of reasons the open pit mining bill is being opposed, with the primary issue being “our health.” She says, “The open pit mining bill threatens to harm our health — the health of current Wisconsin citizens and future generations. That’s something we want to make sure senators and legislators understand.”

During last year’s mining debate, Gogebic Taconite said the same ad was nothing but fear-mongering. Republican lawmakers are trying to get G-Tac to open a new iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron Counties, saying it would create thousands of jobs up north and elsewhere in the state.

Sayers says her group is not against mining in general, just this particular bill, even with 11 new amendments aimed at preserving environmental protections. “The amendments are clearly a political ploy by bill proponents to try to strike the appearance a of middle ground. When you really take a look at these amendments, they’re at best without substance and at worst, laughable.”

The ad is running statewide. It urges viewers to call their state senator to voice their opposition to the open pit mining bill.

Two legislative committees endorsed the measure earlier this week. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hopes to pass the bill in the first week of March.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:52

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