Environment | Politics

Wisconsin Senate approves mining bill despite tribal protests

The Wisconsin Senate voted 17-16 to approve a controversial mining bill opposed by the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians and other tribes.

Tribal members protested at the State Capitol on Wednesday as debate on the bill stretched into nine hours. The Republican majority were able to beat back every Democratic amendment.

The bill will pave the way for the $1.5 billion Gogebic Taconite mine, which Republicans say will create jobs and revenue. The tribe is worried that development will pollute its water and destroy subsistence foods like rice.

"Scary is not the word for it," tribal council member Annie Maday told the Associated Press of the mine. "It's devastating. They're going to destroy my home."

The bill will go to the state Assembly, also controlled by Republicans.

Get the Story:
Wisconsin Senate passes mining bill after debate (AP 2/27)
Tribe opposing mine has its own water quality problems (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2/27)
Conservative Group Says Tribe Violated Clean Water Act (WPR 2/26)

Related Stories:
Column: Mine plan would harm a way of life for Bad River Band (02/14)
Bad River Band emerges as strong opponent in mining battle (02/13)

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