Two States, Two Mines, One Lake Superior

Jan 20, 2014 | Mining

There may be only three rivers separating Minnesota and Wisconsin, but a political “tale of two states” is emerging, encapsulated in University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs’ comparison of the two neighbors and the new phenomenon of the sharply divergent politics.

One thing to watch is how the two states treat proposed huge mining projects. Minnesota has a proposed copper mine in the St. Louis River watershed, which flows to Lake Superior. The state has taken five years to write an environmental impact statement, at the cost of $22 million for the mining company. The public is watching closely.

Will Wisconsin give the same scrutiny to a massive iron ore mine being proposed for the Bad River watershed? Already the company, GTac, and its apologist legislators are saying the Wisconsin DNR is out of line in its recent questioning of GTac. Is there such a thing as too many questions for a 4-mile long, 1,000-foot deep iron mine?