As reported by the Madison CapTimes, Republican State Sen. Tom Tiffany, the main “author” of the controversial mining bill that was passed this week by the Republican Majority in the State Senate, admitted that it was the Legislature’s intent to allow the proposed iron mine to have an adverse effect on the environment, so that a judge can’t find fault when the environment is negatively impacted.
[W]ith numerous groups already vowing to challenge the bill in court, Sen. Tom Tiffany also acknowledged that changes were made to the legislation to put the state on stronger legal ground to withstand such a challenge.
“The bill reflects the reality of mining. There are going to be some impacts to the environment above the iron ore body,” said Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst. “If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse (environmental) impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted.”
Keep in mind that Sen. Tiffany’s admission flies in the face of statements made just this week by Gov. Scott Walker, who said, “We are going to go forward with a permitting process that still protects our natural resources. It’s incredibly important to tourism, it’s important to agriculture and timber in (northern Wisconsin). We’re not going to do something that jeopardizes that.”