LETTER: Mining toast without federal supportTo the Telegram: We are witnessing another Midwestern mine suffocation. To the Telegram: I attended the joint Gogebic/Iron counties town meeting hosted by Republicans on April 28.
To the Telegram:
We are witnessing another Midwestern mine suffocation.
To the Telegram:
I attended the joint Gogebic/Iron counties town meeting hosted by Republicans on April 28. My aim was to ask both speakers, U.S. Congressmen Sean Duffy (R-Weston) and Benishek (R-Michigan) to endorse and promote our region’s iron mining at the federal level to help overcome barricades that anti-jobs Wisconsin politicians have erected against it. Benishek seemed uninterested in mining beyond listening to the representative from the Orvana copper mine near Ironwood, and Duffy showed up 90 minutes late without advance notice. Rude.
As one of the first audience members to address Duffy, I gave a fairly clear, concise statement on the U.S. Congress’ 1963 joint resolution endorsing iron mining in Iron County, Wis., and Gogebic County, Mich., for national security and employment purposes. I asked Duffy to introduce a new, similar resolution now, reaffirming the 1963 resolution, supporting Iron and Gogebic counties in developing the proposed $1.5 billion dollar startup G-Tac iron mine. I explained that a mining enterprise in either county would have de facto spillover benefits for the other state and added that this was a national scale “Keystone Pipeline” event happening right in Duffy’s own backyard. I explained G-Tac has the mining options on the ore (the world’s largest deposit), and if it was forced to mine iron elsewhere it could hold its local options in place, locking out local ore development until its ore elsewhere ran out. This could delay local ore development another 50 years.
Duffy wouldn’t confirm he’d support the proposed mining. Instead he sidestepped, claiming that mining is a 10th Amendment states’ rights issue and that we should “simply recall” the Wisconsin state senators opposing it.
Shame on him.
Based on Duffy’s responses to the audience in general, it’s clear he has little interest in mining here or in mining equipment manufacturing near Milwaukee. He was downright animated, though, in his interest in “entitlement” topics like Social Security, Medicare, VA benefits, etc., making me wonder if I’d accidentally stumbled into the Democratic Party meeting instead.
G-Tac is toast without Duffy’s federal level support if Wisconsin anti-jobs state senators like Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, are not recalled or if one of the four Wisconsin pro-jobs Republican state senators or Gov. Scott Walker are. This would abort thousands of high paying jobs regionally and 100’s of millions of dollars of wages for Milwaukee area mining equipment manufacturing employees. This is one hell of a gamble.
Iron Belt, Wis.