WMC Praises Governor Walker for Signing Historic Iron Mining Reforms

Job Creation, Improved Business Climate Fostered Under New Law

MADISON – The state’s Chamber of Commerce and largest business association Monday praised Governor Scott Walker for signing iron mining reforms that will foster job creation statewide and improve our business climate.

“Governor Walker deserves tremendous credit for signing this important bill into law, and for his leadership in pressing for its passage in the Legislature,” said Scott Manley, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “Governor Walker toured the state calling for passage of the iron mining reforms. He called for passage in his State of the Union speech and he made sure the final version of the bill protects the environment while fostering job creation.”

On Monday, Walker signed the bill in two signing ceremonies – one in Rhinelander and the other in Milwaukee.

“Wisconsin truly is open for business,” said Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO. “Governor Walker’s visionary leadership on jobs made it possible to pass the iron mining reforms into law. In 2011, Governor Walker cut taxes, curbed regulations and clamped down on frivolous lawsuits, and that all set the stage for passage of iron mining reforms. Wisconsin is on a roll.”

Wisconsin is home to one of the largest remaining iron ore deposits in North America. Roughly two billion tons of iron ore are located on privately-owned property in Ashland and Iron Counties – enough to sustain more than one-hundred years of mining. At $1.5 billion, it would be one of the largest private developments in state history.

A proposed iron mine in Iron County is expected to create 2,000 construction jobs as the mine is being constructed, and would employ 700 workers, and foster the creation of 2,100 jobs to support the mine. Mine employees would earn $60,000 annually, with more than $20,000 in benefits, far more than the average income in northern Wisconsin, Manley said.

“A new day has dawned in Wisconsin,” Manley said. “Now, a mining company will have a fair chance at getting a permit to mine for iron if the company can demonstrate that it will protect the environment. Today is the day that Wisconsin tells the world that our business climate will be forever changed for the better.”

For Further Information Contact:
Scott Manley, (608) 258-3400

###