Senate denies vote on mining bill, refuses bipartisan alternativeThe following is a statement from Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, on the Senate’s bipartisan rejection of the latest version of the mining bill and the unanimous vote to send it back to committee for further work:
By: Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, Superior Telegram
The following is a statement from Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) on the Senate’s bipartisan rejection of the latest version of the mining bill and the unanimous vote to send it back to committee for further work:
“The decision of the State Senate to reject the Assembly mining bill and send it back to committee represents the will of the people, who have expressed their deep opposition to the Assembly proposal, which weakened environmental standards and reduced public participation in the permitting process. Citizens throughout the state have made it clear that in order to have responsible mining there needs to be a responsible mining bill.
While the majority of the State Senate rejected the Assembly bill, it is unfortunate that we did not have the opportunity to take up the bipartisan alternative put forth by Senator Schultz and me, which would have passed the Senate and included everything being sought by the company.
Our proposal streamlines the process, provides predictability and certainty, but doesn’t weaken any environmental standards. Our plan protects the public’s ability to participate in the permitting process and ensures that local communities have the resources to pay for infrastructure and other costs associated with the mine without increasing the tax burden on the mining company or on local taxpayers.
For over a year, I have pledged to work for a fair, flexible and responsible mining law that protects the public voice and preserves our environment. In fact, our bipartisan plan is very similar to the mining laws in Minnesota, where more iron is mined than any other state.
I am committed to expanding the bipartisan effort we’ve put forth on this issue as we continue to work towards creating a mining law that will create jobs and protect the public interest.”