LETTERS: Jauch’s service deserves praiseTo the Telegram: A Duluth News Tribune editorial published March 6 blamed Sen. Bob Jauch for blocking passage of mining legislation, the decision by Gogebic Taconite to not mine in Wisconsin and the loss of hundreds of jobs.
To the Telegram:
A Duluth News Tribune editorial published March 6 blamed Sen. Bob Jauch for blocking passage of mining legislation, the decision by Gogebic Taconite to not mine in Wisconsin and the loss of hundreds of jobs. The fact is, without Sen. Jauch’s efforts, northern Wisconsin citizens would not have had an opportunity to voice their support or concerns over Wisconsin Assembly Mining Bill, AB 426. By forcing the Wisconsin Legislature to hold a public hearing in Hurley, Sen. Jauch allowed those he serves the opportunity to see what AB 426 really was. To the vast majority, it became clear that AB 426 eliminated or weakened essentially all laws regulating mining, placing environmental quality and the sustainable economy that depend upon it, at risk. The process also excluded Wisconsin tribes, an apparent violation of their Treaty Rights.
Sen. Jauch listened to his constituents. As a member of the Wisconsin Senate mining committee, he worked to develop legislation, said to be similar to Minnesota’s, to address these problems. Senate Chairman Scott Fitzgerald abruptly disbanded the senate mining committee to stop that effort. Assembly Bill AB 426 did not pass the Wisconsin Senate because the majority of Senators realized it wasn’t good for Wisconsin. I laud Sen. Jauch for working to promote careful review of AB 426 and for his efforts to develop a compromise bill that could have won the support of most Wisconsin residents and their representatives.
The Republican majority and governor should really be blamed for their failure to promote mining jobs. To try to make good on their promise to create jobs, they apparently told Gogebic Taconite, they would rewrite Wisconsin laws to promote higher profits, by eliminating the company’s environmental responsibilities. Wisconsin citizens decided not to give up the Penokee Hills or accept the environmental risk for a verbal promise of 600 jobs that would disappear in 30 to 40 years. Thanks to Sen. Jauch, we can more carefully evaluate the benefits and cost of taconite mining from both a monetary and environmental perspective. As demand for the world’s diminishing mineral resources increases, there will be a time when the Penokee Hills deposits can be mined to provide strong profits and to sustain environmental quality. Thanks again Sen. Jauch.