Mining Bill Signing Creating Push Back
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
RHINELANDER, Wis.--After years of controversy Governor Walker signs the state's new mining bill into law.
It relaxes mining regulations and opens the way for a new mine near Lake Superior. But the move is still creating push back.
"I support Governor Walker on a lot of issues. This is not one of them," Oneida Tribe Chairman Ed Delgado said.
Delgado puts his feelings in writing. The Oneidas filed a resolution, which opposes building the proposed mine on tribal land.
"That country is wild rice, it's hunting, it's water, it's everything that we'll never get back. Once we ruin that it's gone forever," Delgado said.
Meanwhile union workers are excited about the thousands of jobs the iron mine will create in Wisconsin. Employees would earn up to $60,000 a year.
"It's going to bring jobs to an industry that's suffered double digit unemployment for the last four years," President of Operating Engineers Local 139, Terrance McGowan said.
Operating Engineers Local 139 has members in Northeast Wisconsin who will be impacted. The president tells us right now many are working in the southern part of the state.
"It'll be nice for these people for a change be able to go to work and see their families in the evening," McGowan said.
Once a mining permit is approved, the project could break ground soon.
Lawsuits are expected to be filed against the bill. Even though the Oneida's resolution holds no legal bearing, they hope it helps show their support for the tribes affected in the northwest part of the state.