Could I respond to John Kocovsky’s “Writer takes issue with Mining legislation defense” letter in the 10/4 Star Journal. Mr. Kocovsky takes issue with my letter promoting legislation to temporarily close the mine site for worker safety until exploratory drilling is complete.
Mr. Kocovsky starts off by saying the closing is payback for political donations to 20 mining committee. The closing is for worker safety. Why would the mine care if people were around if they weren’t concerned about worker safety?
Mr. Kocovsky then tries to spin the story to imply that the weapons guards had after an the eco-terrorist attack were a worker safety problem. The guards were after, and in response to, a terrorist attack where property was damaged, a worker was assaulted, support bolts were removed from a bridge, and barricades were erected on the roads. The terrorists also said to the workers; “you deserve to die”, “we’re going to destroy you and” “more people are coming”. Mr. Kocovsky goes on to say an imaginary 300 foot circle around the workers would be enough to protect them. The drillers move all over. Do you think the terrorists would respect the imaginary circle?
Mr. Kocovsky then takes me to task for overestimating the jobs the mine would create. OK we’ll settle on the 2,834 long term jobs he speaks of. I don’t know of any one or more potential projects in the Northwoods that would create so many jobs. He goes on to mention a potentially new mine in Australia that he implies would remove the need for more iron ore. The Roy Hill mine he speaks of at best would fill maybe 1/2 per cent of the worlds iron ore needs. It will require dredging 20 feet below sea level, a 214 mile railroad and a seven billion dollar investment. This does point out how desperately the world needs iron and why our iron mine is so viable.
Mr. Kocovsky then says The Bad River Band has not been out of compliance for dumping e Coli and phosphates in to the Bad River for the last 12 quarters! This is extremely false. The Tribe has been given until next January to stop dumping pollutants into the Bad River by the EPA. They have been way out of compliance for a long time. Search the internet using “Bad River Tribe pollution” for more information. Maybe Mr. Kocovsky is trying to spin “not fined yet” into compliance?
The letter goes on to throw out a bunch of “scares” about mine pollution. For the mine to operate it must comply with EPA, DNR, Corp of Engineer regulations, etc.
If they don’t comply then there will be no mine. We don’t need extreme environmentalists, Governor Walker haters, and those who would selfishly have the area for themselves, standing in the way of good jobs for hard working people. Maybe some of these people actually believe the Bad River is not polluted downstream and are drinking the water?
The overwhelming majority of those who grew up with mining favor the mine. Most of the opposition is from people who have never experienced mining. Many do not even live up here.
Charlie Gullan, Eagle River