Mining and Other Environmental News

Recent articles on environmental issues in Wisconsin. Please click on the titles to read the entire articles.

Band of Ojibwe Begin Occupation of Penokee Hills: "The LCO harvest camp is small — five acres as compared to the four and a half miles proposed for the mine here. But LCO tribal elder Melvin Gasper says that this is not just a way to protest the mine plans, but also to get in the way by occupying part of it. Gasper says this is an exercise of their 1842 treaty rights in the Ceded Territory of northern Wisconsin to hunt, fish and gather." Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio. For more info on the camp, see the separate page here.

Wisconsin is testing ground for mining industry response to opposition: "The highly unpopular iron mine giveaway bill is not only a major rollback of environmentally protective mining laws, it is also a well-funded mining industry assault on the grass-roots environmental, sport fishing and tribal movement that mobilized tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens to oppose Exxon’s destructive Crandonmine at the headwaters of the Wolf River and enact Wisconsin’s landmark “Prove It First” Mining Moratorium Law in 1998," says Al Gedicks. And the world is watching to see what happens in the face of "the massive public uproar against this project." Al Gedicks, The Capital Times, 3/7/13. Al Gedicks is executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, a WNPJ member group.

Iron mine's fate may hinge on 19th century treaties: According to Brian Pierson, head of the Indian Nations law team at Godfrey & Kahn, S. C., treaties between the United States and the six Chippewa tribes gave the Chippewa rights not only to the land but also to water and other resources needed for their way of life. "There is no escape from the consequences of mining-related pollution for the Bad River Chippewa," says Pierson. "Wisconsin's new mining law attaches no importance to the treaties," but if Wisconsin approves mining that affects water quality in the Bad River Reservation  the tribe can sue in federal court where the treaty rights should be upheld. Brian Pierson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/8/13.

Proposal would ban Madison from investing in fossil fuel companies: Mayor Paul Soglin and City Council members want Madison to join nine other cities in banning investments by the city in the fossil fuel industry. The divestment campaign is being led by and locally by WNPJ member group 350 Madison. The Wisconsin State Journal, 5/16/13

Wis. candidates got $758K from sand, gas industry: A new report from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign,  a WNPJ member group, says that since 2007 the gas and sand mining industry has contributed nearly $758,000 to Wisconsin politicians. Recieving the most money was Gov. Scott Walker at $520,000. 5/23/13.

Why Koch and sand go hand in hand: "Wisconsin, along with neighboring Minnesota, has some of the best frac sand in the continent, and Koch Industries is heavily invested in natural gas extraction using a technique known as hydraulic fracturing," says Mike Ivey, and "from Koch Industries’ perspective, the more frac sand that comes on the market, the cheaper it becomes." Maybe this partially explains the Koch brothers' investments in Wisconsin politicians. Mike Ivey, The Capital Times, 5/29/13.