A representative of the company at the center of the debate over state mining laws says a bill that lost narrowly in March remains the best hope to revive a plan to build an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.
"They've got kind of a wait-and-see attitude," said Bob Seitz, a lobbyist for Gogebic Taconite, which proposed a $1.5 billion iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.
But he said Gogebic is inclined to move forward with an application to build the massive mine, if lawmakers remove language in current law that Gogebic sees as presenting needless delays in the review and regulatory process involving a mine that could operate for decades.
The changes are best embodied in legislation that passed the Assembly and was modified by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, he said. The bill was defeated by a single vote in the Senate, prompting Gogebic to say it was pulling out.
Since then, the company has been tracking developments in Madison from its offices in Hurley as a skeleton crew scouts projects in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and other parts of the country. Gogebic has been drilling for iron deposits in Michigan - something it hasn't done on property in Wisconsin, where the company has an option on land with proven iron ore deposits.
Gogebic is owned by Cline Group, based in Florida, which mines coal in Illinois and Appalachia.
March's close mining vote, and the bitter legislative fight surrounding it, underscored the sharp partisanship that still exists in the Legislature....
2. Thanks for Your watchful eye! I'm not optimistic either.
More than anything, this is what the 2% want: to keep their millions of $$ flowing in at the expense of our earth, our health, the pristine state of our land and waters etc.! They care not about anything else!