Republicans are pushing hard for the open-pit mining bill to pass through the Wisconsin State Senate, claiming it will create jobs. Many citizens have pushed back because they know it will take years to see those jobs, there won’t be that many of them, and more importantly, they recognize the damage this open-pit mine will do to their communities. This morning I received a message from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, which served as an excellent reminder that the Wisconsin GOP’s motives have less to do with jobs and more to do with keeping a mining magnate’s yacht afloat.
The mining magnate is Chris Cline, owner of Gogebic Taconite, and he’s the one proposing the open-pit mine. According to the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, he also owns a luxury yacht called “mine games.” There’s nothing wrong with owning a yacht, of course, and that’s not the issue, but it’s relevant.
Here is why the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is so concerned, and why those of us who appreciate the finer things in life, like safe drinking water, should be, too:
Why are Governor Walker and mining magnate Chris Cline so hell-bent on passing the open-pit mining bill?
- Governor Walker owes Chris Cline. The Cline Group and its affiliates have already donated $10K to Walker’s campaign – with $8K of it coming directly out of head honcho Chris Cline’s own pocket!
- Gogebic Taconite gets a deal – and Chris Cline gets another yacht (while we foot the bill). If the open-pit mining bill passes, the amount Gogebic would have to pay the DNR would be capped at $1.1 million, leaving Wisconsin taxpayers to foot the bill for a potential $2.7 million shortfall.
Of course, this may all just be a coincidence, and I could be wrong about the reasons behind Governor Walker’s and the Wisconsin GOP’s burning desire for this mine.
But I’m not.