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Thursday, October 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  Fair
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Iron mining dangers
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Larry Kaufmann repeats the two biggest lies about AB 1, the Strip Mine Giveaway bill that is essentially the same bill rejected last session ("Wisconsin Mining Bill Is Widely Misunderstood," 1/18/2013).

To promote the bill that guts environmental regulations for iron mining, Kaufmann and mining proponents have consistently misled legislators with claims that iron ore mining is safer than metallic sulfide mining. The Wisconsin and U.S. Geological Surveys have reported that the iron ore here contains the same sulfide materials (pyrite) that cause acid mine drainage, thus making iron mining just as dangerous.

Over 900 million tons of wastes will be dumped in the wetlands and streams of the Bad River watershed. They could produce the same pollution responsible for fish advisories for mercury and a wild rice dead zone for 100 miles downstream from Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range in the St. Louis River watershed. The mine will cause permanent destruction even if it meets environmental standards.

Kaufmann states that the law doesn't alter environmental standards. The nonpartisan Legislative Council's memo to legislators on AB 1 reveals dozens of instances proving his statement false. More than 80 state, regional and national organizations have urged legislators to reject this extreme legislation just for Gogebic Taconite's destructive proposal. Learn how to oppose AB 1 at wisconsin.sierraclub.org.

Al Gedicks
Executive secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council

Dave Blouin
Mining committee chair, Sierra ClubJohn Muir Chapter

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