Monday, March 5, 2012

Mining Bill With Union Jobs AND Current Environmental Protections

Ya, that's right, the bipartisan Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act from Senators Dale Schultz (R) and Bob Jauch (D) effectively retains our current environmental protections and gives Gogebic Taconite what they want to create the promised "hundreds" of union jobs (bulletpoint overview). But, we only have until noon today to convince the Republican leadership to pass it instead of pressuring Schultz to cave and vote for the Assembly's mining bill (AB 426). That's when the Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on AB 426, passing it to the full Senate, and then the Republican leadership will do everything they can to force Schultz to vote for it.

We need the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act because getting Gogebic Taconite to open a mine is the Republican's only plan to create jobs, and they won't settle for nothing. If we don't get the WWMR Act, we'll most likely get the horrific AB 426, and there's nothing to be afraid of in the WWMR Act.

The company will announce later today that they've promised the majority of the 600-700 jobs that the mine will directly create will be union jobs (JS paywall). They're doing this in an attempt to sway Democrats to vote for the Assembly bill, because Schultz hasn't caved - they just need one. Instead of severely rolling back environmental protections, they should all vote for the bipartisan Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act, which gives everyone what they want.

Read A Plea for the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act for more on why we need to support the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act. I know its lengthy, but its worth it to get the full picture.

Senator Dale Schultz's passionate statement on why he crafted the WWMR Act with Jauch and how it compromises with the Republican leadership is a compelling read. I strongly encourage your indulgence.

Call or email everyone: Schultz, Republican, Democrat, we need mining legislation that doesn't curb existing environmental protections, retains our level of input and review, and gives local communities the funds they deserve. We need the Wisconsin Way Mining Reform Act.

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