"Let's bring mining back to WI" - I agree. But, HOW?
"Let's bring mining back to WI" - I agree. But, HOW? I note a general consensus that MINING should be brought back to WI. I AGREE! Do YOU? I perceive the real issue is process and priorization of values to PROTECT HIGH QUALITY ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS on behalf of WE THE PEOPLE of WI.
As I have read various OpEd statements and news analyses, I have concluded that the BOTTOM-LINE in this significant public issue debate is: WHOM do YOU trust?
Do YOU trust Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, Majority Leader of our WI State Senate and his GOP majority senators OR Sen. Tim Cullen (D-15th Senate District) and Dale Schultz (R-17th Senate District) with the DEM minority senators? I myself choose to TRUST Sen. Tim Cullen & Dale Schultz with the DEM minority senators in our WI State Senate. WHOM do YOU trust?
Our WI STATE ASSEMBLY is still stuck-in-the-mud with its MINING BILL of the previous session in spite of the new leadership with Rep. Robin Vos as Speaker of the Assembly and the GOP majority along with our WI State Governor Scott Walker.
I read with interest the claims made by Scott Fitzgerald in an OpEd published by the Wisconsin State Journal yesterday, “Let’s bring mining jobs back to Wisconsin.”
My problem is CREDIBILITY. I read the evaluations by Senators Cullen and Schultz and others which clearly contradict Fitzgerald’s claims. Again, I assume the INTEGRITY of Cullen & Schultz is stronger than that of Scott Fitzgerald and his GOP colleagues. Whom do YOU trust most?
I believe that Lee Bergguist and Patrick Marley have provided us with valuable information in their article published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last Tuesday, 1/22, “Democrat’s mining bill would preserve existing environmental regulations.” I urge you to read the article to gain information and perspective.
Complementing the Milwaukee paper’s article is Ron Seely’s article in the Wisconsin State Journal also published last Tuesday, 1/22, “Democrat Cullen counters GOP bill with alternative mining proposal.”
The key is spotlighted by Seeley, “While both bills would give the state Department of Natural Resources a deadline for acting on a mine permit application, the proposals differ substantially in the amount of time given the agency, in the extent of change to environmental protections and in how much money would go to communities affected by mining.”
I am baffled as to WHY the GOP is NOT taking benefit from the Hearings held by Sen. Cullen while the DEMS controlled our WI State Senate. I read the reports of those hearings and I again find that I am more confident in the INTEGRITY of Sen. Cullen’s work than I am in the Assembly and Senate work under GOP control.
I like the KEY provision in Cullen’s bill which I consider VERY significant because it SUPPORTS the local governments where the MINE would be located. The Seeley article concludes with the note, “Also, the Cullen bill would return 100 percent of mining tax revenue to local communities affected by a mine while the GOP bill would send 60 percent of such revenue to areas affected.”
I join WI citizens who are wondering WHY the GOP is avoiding a public hearing in the geographic area of the proposed mine. I do NOT care what hearings were held during the last session of our legislature. I do care about hearings dealing with the “NEW” bill under the new legislative session. What do YOU think? Do YOU consider Madison “near” the proposed mine area? I do NOT!
The MINING issue in WI is very significant. There are clearly different perspectives on the values related to mining. I myself TRUST Senators Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz with their DEM colleagues in our WI State Senate MORE than I trust Senator Scott Fitzgerald and his GOP colleagues in our WI State Senate. Whom do YOU trust most?
Here we go…
John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.