With nearly two dozen state troopers stationed in and outside the Joint Finance Committee hearing on Friday, overflowing crowds lined up to testify overwhelmingly against the latest version of a new mining bill.
Wednesday, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R) announced his decision to unexpectedly and unilaterally dismantle the Senate Committee on Mining, pulling the plug on a hearing scheduled for Friday at UW-Platteville. Instead, the task of hearing public testimony was assigned co-chairs Rep. Robin Vos (R), Sen. Alberta Darling (R) and the JFC. On hearing the news at the end of Wednesday’s committee meeting, Sen. Bob Jauch (D) referred to, “behavior very similar to Richard Nixon firing his attorney general [John Mitchell] during Watergate…” and questioned how he was to face his constituents while explaining a highly-complicated issue to the novices on the JFC in 24 hours.
On Friday, Vos and Darling presided over eight hours of testimony that measured nearly 75% against the bill.
Perhaps the most stunning testimony came from two independent geologists, Jason Huberty and Joseph Skulan, who presented jaw-dropping scientific evidence that left Vos scrambling to divert attention away from their statements. His attempt to bypass the Q&A session for the scientists was met with shouts from the audience.
In similar news, other scientists also offer a detailed summary on sulfides in the area of the proposed Penokee iron mine: