By: Ethan Hollenberger
The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters commissioned a poll on the proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin. Opposing the mine is a key component of the Leagues legislative agenda. Their website boasts an action center for voters to contact elected officials to oppose the mining regulation bill passed Monday by the Joint Finance Committee.
The canned letter to officials on the website reads in part, I don’t know a single Wisconsin family member or friend who doesn’t share my appreciation for safe drinking water, flowing trout streams and a thriving tourism economy.
With a clear agenda to stop the mine, the group commissioned a skewed poll from Public Policy Polling, a firm used frequently by left leaning groups. In an automated format, pollsters asked about provisions of the bill.
One statement question read, As a part of the open-pit mining bill, there is a provision that changes the current law to allow mining companies to fill wetlands with mining waste and other materials. Supporters of this provision say it is necessary in order to attract open-pit mining companies and mining jobs to Wisconsin. Opponents argue the provision would allow mining companies to contaminate public drinking water. They also argue that contaminated wetlands endanger hunting and fishing opportunities. PPP reports 69% of respondents think wetlands law should not be changed.
Like the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, the Bad River Band opposes the mine on the grounds of safe water. Media Trackers reported the Bad River Bands own wastewater treatment plant dumps E. Coli and other harmful pollutants into the watershed. Operating on an expired permit, the Bad River Band repeatedly violated EPA rules.
With the credibility of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters questioned, it remains to be seen if they will call for action against Bad River Band’s pollution.