July 21, 2014 by Barbara With
On June 27, 2014, Penokee Hills Education Project (PHEP) offered information sessions at three locations around the proposed mine site in the Penokee Hills as a way to bring truth to the massive amounts of misinformation being spread by Gogebic Taconite (GTac), pro-mining elected officials, and state and local media. Frank Koehn, Pete Rasmussen and Mike Wiggins Jr. addressed a large crowd to share facts and answer questions that GTac and the Wisconsin DNR seem intent on avoiding.
One such misinformation session held on June 5, 2014 in Minoqua was entitled, “Mining in the Penokee Range Forum.” Ann Coakley, Director of Mining and Materials Waste with the Wisconsin DNR was asked about how much water the mine would use. Coakley’s answer, “A lot. A real lot,” was indicative of the kinds of evasive answers concerned citizens receive when asking about substantial issues that will affect the entire region. Video: Rebecca Kemble
GTac hosted a series of one-on-one sessions throughout the past year. They met individually with people in Mercer, Hurley, Mellen and Ashland to provide even more misinformation about the very legitimate concerns about the proposed mine. In the video below, concerned citizen Anastasia Walhovd asks Tim Myers, lobbyist for GTac, about geologist Dr. Tom Fitz’ findings that there is gruenerite at the mine site, thus posing a risk of asbestiform minerals being put out into the air and exposing the area to the risk of mesothelioma. Myers’ response was to insinuate that the scientist, who works for Northland College, is putting out “witchy” information. Video: Danielle Kaeding
As a counter-response to this campaign of evasive misinformation, PHEP held their own open meeting and shared the truth with concerned citizens. Below is a link to the entire presentation, which covers such topics as how much water will be used, the misinformation campaign being conducted by GTac, alternative forms of economic development, and other subjects that should concern all citizens of the state.