One year ago Monday, Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Act 1, the ferrous mining bill that was written by Gogebic Taconite (GTac) and aided by over $1 million in political contributions to Republican legislators.
December 12, 2013
Dear WRPC Member,
Kennecott/Rio Tinto’s Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) appealed its conviction for violating the Clean Water Act at its partially reclaimed Flambeau mine to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago.
Flambeau Mining is let off the hook for pollution
In October 2013 the Appeals Court let FMC off the hook by ruling that the mining permit issued to FMC by the State of Wisconsin “shielded” the company from prosecution
Steven Verburg, Wisconsin State Journal
Two members of the Wisconsin Legislature are asking Gogebic Taconite to remove masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms from the mining company’s site in the Penokee Hills forest.
Photos of the guards surfaced over the weekend on the websites of mine opponents.
Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, said Monday the guards are from Bulletproof Securities, an Arizona company that boasts a “no compromises security force.”
“I’m appalled,” Jauch said. “There is no evidence to justify their presence.”
Jauch said he was especially concerned that the guards are carrying high-powered rifles more appropriate for fighting wars than for guarding construction equipment in a scenic forest that draws scores of hikers and vacationers in addition to mine protesters.
“Do they have the authority to use those weapons? If so, on who?” Jauch said. “I don’t know if there’s a hunting season right now except maybe for rabbit, but you shoot a rabbit with that, all you’ll end up with is fur. What would you use those weapons for except to hurt somebody?”
July 3, 2013
Dear WRPC Member,
On June 11th, Gogebic Taconite (GTac) started exploratory drilling at the first of eight sites in the Penokee Hills despite objections from the Bad River Tribe and local citizens that the impact of drilling was not fully considered before the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a drilling license.
May 2, 2013
Dear WRPC Member,
Gogebic Taconite and their supporters in the legislature succeeded in passing the Bad River Watershed Destruction Act but they are losing the battle for public acceptance of mountaintop removal mining in the Penokee Hills. The financial interests behind the legislation, including the Cline Group and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, contributed $15.6 million to the Republican-controlled legislature and GOP Governor Scott Walker between 2010 and June 2012, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. They also found that mining deregulation interests outspent opponents of mining deregulation by 610 to 1.
By Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin
Duluth News Tribune
How is it possible that the Wisconsin legislature is ready to pass legislation to create fast-tracked, less-protective ferrous (iron) mining laws for what promises be the largest open-pit iron mine in the world with no scientific evidence to justify treating iron mining differently than other metallic mining?
If Gogebic Taconite proceeds with a proposal, its first phase of mining alone would be larger than the acknowledged largest iron mine in the world, the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine in Hibbing. The taconite ore body in northern Wisconsin is known to run 22 miles, meaning the expansion of mining after phase one could result in an even larger mine with more potential to destroy rivers, streams, wetlands and groundwater.
The main proponents of an iron mining bill in Wisconsin — including Gogebic Taconite, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Mining Association — have misled legislators with claims that the iron ore in Ashland and Iron counties is more environmentally safe compared to metallic sulfide mining and thus requires separate regulations.
by Al Gedicks
Z Magazine, February 2013
Prior to investing in new resource colonies, multinational mining corporations frequently change a country’s mining laws to remove restrictions on foreign ownership, reduce taxes, ease environmental protections and guarantee access to water supplies needed for mining. During the 1990s, under pressure from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, over 90 states in the Global South changed their mining laws to attract foreign mining investment. These neocolonial measures, often called “neoliberal reforms,” are now being used to open up new mining projects in the Lake Superior region of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
An unlikely coalition has lined up against mining companies and the Republicans who love them.
by David Giffey
Mark your calendar for noon Saturday, January 26. That’s the scheduled birth of a “new coalition” of Native American tribes, environmental and sport fishing groups, and friends, who will gather at the capitol in Madison in a statewide demonstration opposing another attempt to destroy Wisconsin’s prized moratorium on metallic sulfide mining. Your presence is welcome. No RSVP required.
The January 26 demonstration will be “a very powerful counterweight” to new legislation seen as paving a way to eventually destroy Wisconsin’s 1998 “prove it first” law, says Al Gedicks, of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council . Republican leaders including Governor Walker have said they’ll introduce The Bad River Watershed Destruction Act (that’s its popular title) this month. The bill is also called Gogebic Taconite’s (GTac) Strip Mine legislation.
Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin
Isthmus, January 22, 2013
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) should be paying Isthmus contributor Larry Kaufmann for his able job of parroting their misleading talking points on the new mining bill introduced last week by GOP mining cheerleaders. The “new” version of AB 426, the Strip Mine Giveaway Bill (AB 1/SB 1), is essentially the same bill from last session.
January 9, 2013
Dear WRPC Member,
Wisconsin is now under a well-funded mining industry attack on the grassroots environmental, sportfishing, and tribal movement which mobilized tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens to successfully oppose Exxon’s destructive Crandon mine at the headwaters of the Wolf River and enact Wisconsin’s landmark Mining Moratorium Law.
Assembly Republican leaders say the first bill they’ll introduce in early January is the Bad River Watershed Destruction Act, also known as Gogebic Taconite’s Strip Mine Legislation