With Elections Just a Year Away, Legislature Abandons Wisconsin Families
Industrial Acid Mining Bill Will Put Public Health at Risk for Generations
MADISON – On Tuesday, the majority of the state’s senators chose to ignore the citizens who elected them and put Wisconsin’s public health and environment at risk by approving Sen. Tom Tiffany’s Industrial Acid Mining Bill, AB 499.
Rather than heed calls from Wisconsin residents for common sense to prevail, 19 senators joined 56 Assembly colleagues and capitulated to out-of-state mining interests in a vote that will endanger generations of Wisconsinites and the state’s natural resources for hundreds of years.
“The legislators who voted for this bill ignored their constituents in a reckless money grab,” said Kerry Schumann, executive director. “Rather than being brave and standing up for the health of Wisconsin families, they caved to corporate mining interests. They sold their constituents out.”
The bill will repeal the Prove It First mining law, the gold standard protector of the state’s natural resources from America’s most toxic industry, metallic sulfide mining. That law has worked to keep dirty mines out of Wisconsin for two decades.
Sulfide mining puts rivers, lakes, wildlife, and public health at risk by creating acid mine drainage, a permanent toxic process that renders water poisonous and ecosystems lifeless.
For months, Wisconsin residents have expressed overwhelming opposition to the bill. Polling in August by the River Alliance of Wisconsin showed 72 percent polled wanted to keep the Prove It First law intact.
Yet, these legislators have continued to advocate for mining companies like Aquila Resources and Rio Tinto – and their records of pollution – rather than for the communities that elected them.
“With elections just months away, the legislators who voted for this reckless bill have made it clear their priorities are with out-of-state polluters, not the people they represent,” Schumann said. “For them, it will be a long winter explaining to voters why they cast their lot with America’s most toxic industry.”
Anti-conservation representatives are: Scott Allen, Tyler August, Joan Ballweg, Kathy Bernier, Mark Born, Janel Brandtjen, Edward Brooks, Robert Brooks, Cindi Duchow, James Edming, Mary Felzkowski, Cody Horlacher, Rob Hutton, André Jacque, John Jagler, Adam Jarchow, Terry Katsma, Samantha Kerkman, Joel Kleefisch, Daniel Knodl, Dale Kooyenga, Jesse Kremer, Scott Krug, Mike Kuglitsch, Bob Kulp, Amy Loudenbeck, John Macco, David Murphy, Lee Nerison, Adam Neylon, John Nygren, Jim Ott, Kevin Peterson, Warren Petryk, Treig Pronschinske, Romaine Quinn, Keith Ripp, Jessie Rodriguez, Mike Rohrkaste, Michael Schraa, Ken Skowronski, John Spiros, Rob Stafsholt, David Steffen, Jim Steineke, Rob Summerfield, Rob Swearingen, Gary Tauchen, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Paul Tittl, Ron Tusler, Tyler Vorpagel Robin Vos, Thomas Weatherston, Chuck Wichgers, and Shannon Zimmerman.
Pro-conservation representatives are: Jimmy Anderson, Peter Barca, Terese Berceau, Jill Billings, David Bowen, Jonathan Brostoff, Dave Considine, David Crowley, Steve Doyle, Jason Fields, Eric Genrich, Evan Goyke, Gary Hebl, Dianne Hesselbein, Gordon Hintz, Frederick Kessler, Joel Kitchens, Debra Kolste, Cory Mason, Beth Meyers, Nick Milroy, Jeffrey Mursau, Todd Novak, Tod Ohnstad, Sony Pope, Daniel Riemer, Melissa Sargent, Katrina Shankland, Christine Sinicki, Pat Snyder, Mark Spreitzer, Amanda Stuck, Lisa Subeck, Chris Taylor, Travis Tranel, Nancy VanderMeer, Don Vruwink, Dana Wachs, Leon Young, JoCasta Zamarripa, and Josh Zepnick.
Anti-conservation senators are: David Craig, Alberta Darling, Daniel Feyen, Scott Fitzgerald, Sheila Harsdorf, Chris Kapenga, Frank Lasee, Devin LeMahieu, Howard Marklein, Terry Moulton, Stephen Nass, Luther Olsen, Jerry Petrowski, Roger Roth, Duey Stroebel, Patrick Testin, Thomas Tiffany, Leah Vukmir, and Van Wanggaard
Pro-conservation senators are: Janet Bewley, Tim Carpenter, Robert Cowles, Jon Erpenbach, Dave Hansen, LaTonya Johnson, Chris Larson, Mark Miller, Janis Ringhand, Fred Risser, Jennifer Shilling, Lena Taylor, Kathleen Vinehout, and Robert Wirch.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources.
You can follow legislation impacting natural resources on our Conservation Vote Tracker, a real-time accountability tool that provides you with a complete picture of what conservation issues are in play and how legislators are performing: http://conservationvoters.org/vote-tracker/