Today we are talking about the sulfide mining moratorium in Wisconsin. Sulfide mining, which refers to mining hard metals which are embedded in sulfur-bearing rock, is difficult to do in Wisconsin due to the so-called “Prove It First” law, which requires a mining company to prove that a proposed sulfide mine will not pollute the environment. Essentially, that means there’s been no sulfide mining in Wisconsin for decades.
Assembly Bill 499 and Senate Bill 395 would change that. Specifically, they would “[repeal] the existing prohibition on issuing sulfide ore mining permits,” opening the door to sulfide mining in Wisconsin. Among those pushing the bill is State Senator Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst.
Our guests to help us understand sulfide mining, its effects on people and the environment, and what might happen in the future are Al Gedicks and Burton Warrington. Al Gedicks is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council. He is the author of Resource Rebels: Native Challenges to Mining and Oil Corporations. Burton Warrington is an attorney working on mining issues with the Menominee Tribe. Burton was raised on the Menominee Reservation and grew up through the Crandon mine fight, which motivated him to attend law school.