Just when you thought the week couldn’t get any worse for Scott Walker, Tom Tiffany and Gogebic Taconite, it just got a whole lot worse.
First it was the story on Monday about the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, headed by former DNR secretary and Tommy Thompson appointee George Meyer, calling for a repeal of Act1, the ferrous mining law written specifically for ( and by ? ) Gogebic Taconite. The call for repeal resulted from a letter from the Army Corps of Engineers to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources stating that the bills expedited timeline was unworkable with the Feds, which was something every republican who voted for it was warned about well in advance. The bill was signed into law anyway and was touted by Governor Walker as a major jobs bill that would boost Wisconsin’s economy. Ruh Roh!
The very next day State Senators Bob Jauch, Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz circulated a letter amongst their colleagues in the legislature patiently explaining to them that the bill as it is would actually slow whatever job creation it was intended to engender, and called for Act 1 to be brought back to the legislature for review. Ouch! That’s gotta hurt! But it gets even better, or worse, depending on your point of view.
Just today the two largest newspapers in Wisconsin have weighed into the fray. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board, previously a champion of the mining law overhaul, is echoing the Jauch/Cullen/Schultz call for a legislative review of Act 1. Damn!
And the Wisconsin State Journal has a story on a preliminary DNR report suggesting that an open pit iron mine in the Penokee Hills could pose a threat to health and human safety. Son-of-a ……………..!
Of course, all of this comes on the heels of news last month that Gogebic Taconite president Bill Williams may have to face trial in Spain for failing to protect an aquifer from arsenic contamination using the same engineering technology he spouted off about to concerned citizens of the northland. Double Ruh Roh!
Less than a year ago Scott Walker spoke at his annual State of the State address touting what would become Act 1 as a major job creating bill for the state of Wisconsin. Less than a year ago. Now it’s a legislative disaster of the first order. And Cathy Stepp’s DNR is suggesting that an open pit iron mine in the Penokee Hills could be a disaster as well.
It’s tough to overstate the sheer incompetence, ideological blindness, and political/corporate driven chicanery that all of this implies concerning Walker, GTAC and the GOP controlled legislature.
But I hope that all of you reading this post will attempt to do so in a letter to your local newspaper.