State Reps Call on Mine Bill Authors to Take Their own advice..

For Immediate Release              Contact: Rep. Hulsey    266-7521                

January 5, 2012                         Rep. Molepske    267-9649 

State Reps Call on Mine Bill Authors to Take Their Own Advice 

Legislative Council Finds WI Bill Compares Unfavorably with MN, MI Regulations 

State Reps. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) and Louis Molepske (D-Stevens Point) issued the following 

statement today upon release of a new Legislative Council study of mining law in states surrounding 


“It’s ridiculous for the proponents of this bad strip mine bill to point to other states as examples of why 

we need to change our mining laws, when in fact Michigan and Minnesota’s laws are much more 

protective of our shared environmental resources,” said Hulsey, pointing to the results of the study by the 

state’s non-partisan research agency. “The bill’s authors should take their own advice and look at what 

surrounding states do to protect the environment from what can be a very hazardous industry.” 

Speaker Fitzgerald’s office pointed to laws in Minnesota and Michigan last month, saying that “you can 

do similar mining in Michigan and Minnesota with a much faster and more clear [sic] permitting 


“For the Speaker to say that Minnesota and Michigan have a faster timeline for approval of a permit is 

just untrue, according to this non-partisan Legislative Council analysis,” said Rep. Molepske, Democratic 

Ranking member on the both the Jobs and Natural Resources Committees. “Those states don’t create 

anything resembling the arbitrary timeline that this bill does.” 

The analysis also showed that other states protect people’s rights to a contested case hearing, do more to 

protect rivers, wetlands and other navigable waters including designated Areas of Special Natural 

Resource Interest, and do not operate on the assumption of permit approval, as Wisconsin’s proposed 

legislation would.

“The strip mine operators and lobbyists who wrote this bill should learn from other states,” said Rep. 

Hulsey. “Rather than pushing legislation that is tailor-made to the specifications of strip mine special 

interests, let’s write a bill that takes the best of what others have done and improve on that.” 

“This bill takes away the citizens’ voice in the process,  unlike Minnesota and Michigan law that 

embraces citizen input.  This bill even goes so far as to limit citizens from exercising their full 

constitutional right to question the DNR’s decision,” said Rep. Molepske. 

Legislators, including Rep. Molepske, will hold a hearing in Hurley next Wednesday so that locals who 

were unable to make the 350 mile drive to Milwaukee for last month’s hearing can share their concerns or 

support regarding the proposed strip mining legislation.