It’s been revealed that the owner of Gogebic Taconite, which wants to build an iron ore mine in Northern Wisconsin, is in hot water by officials in Illinois over a coal mine there. Illinois environmental regulators say the billionaire’s firm is dragging its feet in a clean-up agreement.
Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) is not concerned about similar issues if GTAC moves forward in Wisconsin. Suder said the Illinois situation is different as the firm is “cleaning up a problem that existed before they came in,” whereas the Superior-area proposed mine is a new project that must meet a host of environmental standards.
Suder and a group of Assembly Republicans met with reporters this morning, prior to the start of debate over a bill to reform the permitting process for iron mines.
To prevent a marathon back-and-forth over the contentious bill, which critics say is too lax with environmental regulations, debate is limited to 9.5 hours at which time a vote will take place.
Representative Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee) is hoping everyone stays “composed” when things wrap up: “This bill is going to pass. We certainly don’t need any drama at the end of session; this bill is far too important for that.”
After Assembly approval, the legislation will head to desk of Governor Walker who has strongly endorsed it.