All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wisconsin gets another chance for Gogebic Taconite iron mine

It is not often a state gets a do-over, but it looks like Wisconsin will have another opportunity to woo Gogebic Taconite to open an iron mine--with its 700 good paying jobs--in Ashland County.

With Republicans gaining a healthier majority in the State Senate, passage of the Assembly's mining bill for streamlining of the mining approval process is likely. And with a passed mining bill, Gogebic Taconite says they are still interested in Wisconsin.

Because State Senate Republicans are no longer dependent on their weakest link, Sen. Dale Schultz, they should be able to pass the streamlined mining approval bill. Ironically, now that passage seems inevitable, Democrat Senator Tim Cullen now invokes Thomas Jefferson's appeal for "broad support for sweeping change"! In Sunday's paper, Cullen made his plea for not ramming through legislation with a slim majority.

Cullen's plea, however, seems very out of character with Democrats' actions, both in state and in Washington. After all, didn't Cullen join with the other Democrat State Senators when the 14 fled the state to deny the Senate Republicans from having a quorum during the Act 10 battle? And though he flirted with leaving the Democrat caucus in July, 3 days later he rejoined them with a promise of chairing 2 newly created committees--one being Mining.

As for Democrats in the U.S. Senate, didn't Harry Reid tweak and torture Senate rules to pass Obamacare on the slimmest of majorities? Hardly following Thomas Jefferson's appeal for broad support for sweeping change! Cullen stood with both Obama and Tammy Baldwin in the last election, so I guess that shows how much Cullen really values Thomas Jefferson's words of wisdom.

Since the introduction of iron mining would be a great boon for all of Wisconsin, I would like to think Democrats could put partisanship aside and do what is best for the state. Keep in mind the mining bill includes environmental protections, and iron mining is akin to quarrying, which goes on all over our state, it is not toxic strip mining. And the 700 jobs? Those are promised to be 95% union jobs, certainly a boon to economically challenged northern Wisconsin.

However, putting partisanship aside doesn't seem to be the direction state Democrats wish to move in: they just named Democrat Chris Larson as their Minority Leader. (Larson is a true liberal, believing that reducing government is reducing democracy!)

No doubt a passed mining bill will end up tangled in the Madison courts, just as our passed Voter ID and Act 10 have. But at least we should be able to jump the first hurdle of passing the mining legislation. The court battle will have to be overcome another day*.

*Note: Wisconsin has an extremely important State Supreme Court race coming up in April 2013, where we must reelect Justice Pat Roggensack.

Walker: With new bill, mining company will return 
Best mining bill would have wide support 
UPDATE: Sen. Tim Cullen rejoins Democratic Caucus
Democrats elected Chris Larson as state Senate leader
Sen Chris Larson Says, "Reducing Government" is Reducing Democracy"
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
The importance of the upcoming WI Supreme Court race to Republicans 
Wisconsin Justice Pat Roggensack
Past Posts:
State mining bill on life support, call Senators to save! March 9, 2012
Wisconsin Tea Party Reaction to Mining Debacle  March 9, 2012
Wisconsin Senate mining bill took wrong turn, now better Feb. 15, 2012

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