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Committee Hears From Public On Mining Bill

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The Assembly Labor Committee Friday heard testimony concerning the proposal called "Mining For America" which would eliminate the state's Mining Moratorium Law or the "Prove It First" law.

Authored by State Senator Tom Tiffany and Assembly Representative Rob Hutton, the bill would allow mining companies to propose mining without first having to prove they can open and close a mine without pollution.

Hazelhurst Republican Tiffany says the end of the moratorium would bring better paying jobs to an area that is losing economic viability....

".....I urge you all to look at the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance document that they came out with in July. You will see a map and you will see communities that are growing and the ones that aren't. It is very easy to see north of Highway 29 that we are becoming older and poorer....."

A Democrat on the Assembly Labor Committee, Ted Ohnstad of Kenosha questioned the concept that modern mining technology is safe enough to prevent pollution...

"....I certainly hope that is the case that there's new technology. But I'm not convinced that we can do this safely. If there was new technology where (mining ) could be done safely I would think that there would be no need to change this Prove It First law at all...."

The testimony ran all day. The bill has already cleared the Senate committee chaired by Tiffany and has gone to the full Senate.

The hearing was on Wisconsin Eye.

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