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Honadel: Wisconsin's Trifecta Of Jobs Must Include Mining

State representative says mining bill creates new economic opportunities.

The following editorial was written by state Rep. Mark Honadel. Click here for more on the mining legislation, which passed an Assembly committee on Tuesday.

Wisconsin has a long tradition of hard working people. Our statehood has its roots in agriculture and mining, and soon after that our state began growing its strength in manufacturing, too. 

Wisconsin consistently ranks near the top of states with a manufacturing intensive economy. Our many skilled craftsmen produce large steel fabricated goods, machine tools, forgings, ships, and many other products. Our can-do work ethic lends itself to efficient, safe, and productive industries – we know how to "make it."

Our agriculture sector is one of the best producers in the nation, leading the way in milk, cheese, and dairy products. I grew up on a dairy farm and apple orchard, so I know first-hand the hard work it takes to maintain farms and produce quality products. Our Wisconsin farmers know how to "milk it."

Finally, the third leg I see in Wisconsin's trifecta of jobs is mining. Our history is rooted so much in mining that a miner appears on our flag and the badger is our state symbol, referring to the settlers that burrowed underground in mines. Unfortunately, Wisconsin's mining laws in recent years have effectively made mining non-existent through an uncertain and open-ended process that discourages capital investment.

The bill to be considered by the State Assembly this week reforms the process by establishing clear and achievable standards to issue a permit for an iron ore mine. We can pass legislation that forms a reasonable process for active mining while still protecting our environment.

The result of encouraging the mining industry to come back to Wisconsin will mean thousands of jobs and new investment in our state. Jobs will be created around the state from Iron and Ashland Counties where the mine would be located to southeastern Wisconsin where mining equipment is manufactured. 

I believe we create a framework for environmentally responsible mining. It's been done before and it can be done again. I want to revive and strengthen our state economy. The way to do that is by creating new economic opportunities.  This legislation does just that. It's an opportunity to attract new manufacturers to the state, retain manufacturers already here, and spark economic growth around Wisconsin to create family-supporting jobs. We must once again make it, milk it, and mine it to be successful in Wisconsin.

Mark Honadel is the state representative for the 21st Assembly District, which includes South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and a part of Milwaukee.

UseYourLogic January 26, 2012 at 03:49 PM
This is baloney. Why don't you say OUTRIGHT that you want to put a mine in up north which will ruin the tourism economy up there and destroy the public's lands in the Chequamegon National Forest area. You want to destroy a hundred years worth of work to create a hunting a fishing haven and tourism economy for a handful of jobs and money for some out-of-state mega corporation? We don't want the mine and this is a back-door attempt to circumvent the wishes of Wisconsinites! This bill is just a disgrace to the hard work of generations of Wisconsinites. Where will all of us down here go to hunt and fish and play with our families? Canada?
Mark B January 26, 2012 at 04:47 PM
What are you talking about and where are you getting your information? It is a fact that both Michigan and Minnesota have allowed and currently have mines of this type in operation right now. Are you saying that MN and MI don't care about the environment in their states or have taken into account the costs vs. benefits? I've got news for you. Just about every good or service you use or come in contact with during your daily life is either directly or indirectly related to something that is mined/drilled out of the earth. So unless you want to go back to the days of hunter/gatherers and nomadic tribes, resources will need to be retrieved from the Earth. Now does this mean we should allow an "anything goes" policy? Clearly not. But to say we should allow no mining because of possible risks means we should shut down everything. There are risks in anything we choose to do. Prudent people assess the risks and determine if the benefit outweighs the risk. That's what MN and MI did. "We don't want the mine and this is a back-door attempt to circumvent the wishes of Wisconsinites!" My, you speak for an awful lot of people with that statement. Is this the same "We" who want the governor recalled? How ironic that your screen name is "UseYourLogic". Clearly you don't because your argument is one of emotion and fear.
Joe K January 27, 2012 at 04:14 AM
You demonstrate unbelievable shortsightedness for staking this state's economy on those three job categories. Mining has no place in that "trifecta." If you were capable of forward thinking you'd have replaced mining with biotechnology, software development, or financial services. Our tax dollars fund the profitable WARF but let's clear cut a thousand acres of forest for private enterprise? Google and Microsoft have offices in Madison but let's see how much of the north woods we can pulverize? Northwestern Mutual posts its 2nd highest dividend ever but they aren't primitive enough? It can't be any more obvious that Taconite has paid off the Republican party so that they can start pillaging the north woods with as little oversight as possible.
UseYourLogic January 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Joe K - I wouldn't agree more. As a Republican, I am incensed at the turn Wisconsin Republican Politicians have taken. No more transparency, no more government by, for and of the people! No more small government, creative, smart solutions - just HAND OUTS and WELFARE for big businesses that do not need it!
UseYourLogic January 27, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Mark B, If you wouldn't say it to my face-you shouldn't write it on the board. Why are you attacking people who hunt and fish and condescendingly calling them "hunter/gatherers and nomadic tribes"? You must not be from Wisconsin if you have no idea the PROUD heritage we have of hunting, fishing, and other outdoor sports. It must be nice for you to be so rich - many Wisconsinites hunt and fish to put food on their table. Finally, you found nasty things to say to me, but you didn't respond to the point of my comment. Tourism is important to Wisconsin economy, being the fifth largest sector. For over 100 years, we have developed that part of our economy and the northwoods is hugely important to that economy for the whole state, but especially for the communities in the north. From hunting, fishing, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping, boating, to more-those forests bring in money. Why would you want to ruin that? We don't want to sell off our heritage so some foreign company can make some money. Think of all the JOBS LOST when the tourism economy is affected. Those jobs are essential to small towns - and no one should callously disregard those peoples lives. http://www.witourismfederation.org/ http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Tourism-Dollars-are-Big-Business-in-NW-Wisconsin-124387919.html http://www.wisconsinoutdoorfun.com/article/20110327/WOF07/110325107/Big-Bucks-Deer-season-provides-economic-boost-Wisconsin-
Jerry Person January 28, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Scooter told Wisconsin for three months Act 10 was to balance the budget. Then under oath he admitted it was just a plot to take out Obama. The schools and the children were just victims of his get rich quick scheme. Then he returned to Wisconsin like his confession never happened and started the lie again stating it was about the budget. Scooter has stated since July he has balanced the budget and now he reported to the Feds Wisconsin has a deficit. Once again the very next day scooter state of the union speech he started his lying again. I balanced the budget. Webster’s says a person who covers a lie with a lie has no conscience and is a psychopath and to change what is norm for personal political or religious reasons is an act of perversion. Now I can only wonder what type of thing could support a child porno psychopathic pervert. Now we know why they gets there kicks harming children and seniors. What ever it is that does is not a good thing. Human beings could and would not support that. GOP Good old pervs Now only the members of the Scooter Wanker child porno club support Walker.

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