Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sen. Hansen Goes Mining For Answers

Just the other day, I questioned just who are supposed to get those mining jobs that Scott Walker and his Republican sock puppets in the legislature have been promising us.

It's doubtful that it's Wisconsinites, since the Republicans killed the amendment that would have ensured that those jobs would be filled by residents of our state.

State Senator Dave Hansen Brings up some very good and rather important questions about this matter as well in a press release:
A little known provision tucked inside the state budget that would repeal a law in place since 1887 that protects Wisconsin land from being controlled by large foreign corporations or governments is leading people to question why the change is being made, who stands to benefit and why is the provision buried deep inside the state budget?

“People deserve to know the details behind this mysterious effort to repeal a longstanding law that is in place to preserve the state’s economic sovereignty, especially during a time when foreign countries like China are becoming increasingly aggressive in their attempts to gain economic advantage over the United States,” said Hansen.

Some are questioning whether the provision is somehow tied to a proposed iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin and whether it is designed to clear the way for the mining rights to be sold to a foreign competitor like China.

“Throughout the mining debate we heard over and over again that Gogebic Mining, which does coal mining and owns the rights to the mineral deposit in northern Wisconsin, has no interest in actually doing the mining themselves, that they would prefer to sell the rights to someone else,” said Hansen.

“Perhaps it’s a coincidence that we now find out about this obscure provision that could allow the mine to be sold to a Chinese-owned corporation. Whatever the answers, people have a right to know who is behind this, who stands to benefit and why this provision is buried in the budget rather than being debated on its own merits.”

China is the world’s largest producer of iron ore and as one of the world’s largest markets they have the ability to affect supply and prices. China has also recently begun expanding its mining operations outside of its borders, including opening the massive Sino Iron project at Cape Preston, in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Others have suggested it could be related to the Governor’s announced trip to China in April or to plans by foreign corporations to buy up large tracts of farmland.

“Whatever the reason, people have a right to know the answers to yet another mystery wrapped inside the riddle that is the Republican state budget.”
I just hope that Hansen or anyone else is holding their breaths for Walker or any of the other Republicans will come out with a straight answer any time soon.  I'm not so sure they would know the truth if it bit them.


  1. I hope Senator Hansen hits them hard with questions today before the inevitable vote. This is pure theft.

  2. I see that one rationale given by a Walker spokeshole for the repeal the 125 year old law, is that it would increase investment in timber land and the supply of pulp wood to paper mills, thus preventing their closure. I almost fell off my chair when I read that.

    First of all, if China were to buy Wisconsin timber land they would ship the wood to China, as is already happening in southeast Asia.

    Second, Wisconsin paper mills are being closed because China has been flooding the US market with cheap paper, not because there is some shortage of pulp wood -- and because these companies have been purchased by US vulture capitalists who are engaged in asset stripping, otherwise known as Romney-style capitalism.

    You know there are ulterior motives at work when such transparently ludicrous arguments are put forth.

  3. Thank you Capper and thank you Senator Hansen.