There is one major difference though. It is now even more unpopular than ever. Public Policy Polling did a poll on the mining bill and it was not good news for the Republicans. Per a press release from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters:
A poll released today shows that public opposition to the provisions of the Open-Pit Mining Bill (SB 1/AB 1) has grown significantly since last year. Wisconsin voters oppose the bill by a 33% margin (62-29). Opposition has increased 20 points since last year with undecideds having shifted into the opposition camp. Those voters who consider themselves “independent” opposed the bill by a 44% margin. Support for the bill among Republicans has also dropped.
“The more voters learn about the Open-Pit Mining Bill and the threat it poses to Wisconsin’s natural resources and public health, the more they oppose it. It turns out that standing up for a mining company’s ability to dump waste into our streams and expose our families to deadly chemicals like arsenic and lead is a very unpopular position among the Wisconsin electorate,” said Anne Sayers, Program Director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.
The poll also tested:
- Whether mining companies should be allowed to fill wetlands with waste and other materials (Oppose 67-24).
- Whether the amount of money the DNR can collect from mining companies for permit reviews should be capped (Oppose 78-13).
- Whether the role of legislators is to bring jobs to the state no matter the cost to the environment or to balance jobs at environmental concerns (Balance 77-18).
“Proponents of the Open-Pit Mining Bill had an additional year to fix and sell this bill to the voters of Wisconsin, but they’ve only lost ground. The bill can’t be fixed. The public knows it and the legislators know it. The only question now is whether legislators will stand with the Wisconsinites they represent or an out-of-state mining company,” concluded Sayers.
- How concerned voters are that the mining company played a key role in writing the Open-Pit Mining Bill (Concerned 77-20).
The poll by Public Policy Polling surveyed 911 Wisconsin voters on February 18th and 19th, exactly one year since a similar poll was conducted. The margin of error is +/-3%.
View the polling memo from Public Policy Polling here. View the crosstabs here.
Well, that would explain why the mining company is so willing to dump all that money pushing for the bill. They need to give their sockpuppet legislators some incentive to put their hands in the grinder.
The simple fact that the Republicans even have this bill up for a vote shows who they are really working for. Here's a hint: It ain't us.
For more information, I would refer the gentle reader to those more knowledgeable than I on this matter. James Rowen shreds the arguments that the corporate media has parroted in their effort to promote the bill. Eddee Daniel also has a nice piece with a graphic to show you just how much of our state the mining company wants to chew up and spit out.
There is an event up in Ashland on Monday and events at the Capitol on Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the bill.