MADISON – WMC hailed a strong showing of bi-partisan support for opening a new mine near Hurley as the Iron County Democrat and Republican parties jointly urged Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) to push forward on iron mining reforms.
“This strong showing of bi-partisan support for the mine should send a clear message to legislators in both parties that the people of Northwest Wisconsin are united in supporting a mine,” said Scott Manley, director of environmental policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
Kedzie chairs a Senate Committee considering mining reforms that would allow an iron ore mine to safely proceed.
“We are very passionate about a proposed iron ore mining project in northern Wisconsin and we are asking your committee to diligently and promptly work on legislation for ferrous mining,” wrote Vic Ouimette, Iron County Democrat Party Chairman, and John Sendra, Iron County GOP Chairman.
“The Democrats and Republicans each agree that new technologies have made mining safer and laws need to be in place to prevent a harmful mine, but the economic benefit that would spread across the entire state of Wisconsin should not be lost because of political power struggles in Madison,” they wrote. “Both parties have agreed to help your committee move forward legislation for ferrous mining.”
Manley said this level of bi-partisan cooperation demonstrates the unity and resolve of the residents. “The Legislature needs to act swiftly to pass iron mining legislation that will ensure mining is done safely for generations to come and provide high-wage jobs,” Manley said.
A large iron range near Hurley is one of the largest remaining iron ore deposits in North America. Mining the deposit will create jobs for generations to come. A mine would initially employ 700 workers, and could create up to 1,400 mining jobs. When fully operational, the projected statewide job creation would be 5,600 jobs, according to a recent economic study. The mine would generate $1.2 billion each year in economic activity.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called for passage of legislation to encourage environmentally safe iron mining. The Wisconsin State Journal has also editorialized in support of mining in northern Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker supports the mine.
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce represents small and large employers in the state and has more than 3,000 members. WMC supports needed reforms to encourage iron mining.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Scott Manley, (609) 209-0568