Geologists Rock the House With Stunning Testimony at Mining Hearing


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:

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16 Comments on “Geologists Rock the House With Stunning Testimony at Mining Hearing”

  1. Patricia Hammel February 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    “Nobody’s talking about the rocks.” Or the pyrite, or sulfides. Science! Flee! Flee!

  2. Mary Ellen Ryall February 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    I was pleased to hear two geologists speak about the risk of sulfides, pyrite and the harm this could do to the environment. The geologists are right. It took millions of years for this noxious waste to be released into the environment. The Earth can safely respond to this. Man could come along in a minute and start to unleash these hazardous conditions upon the Earth. The Earth can not respond to healing itself at this speed. It is similar to the mammals in the sea. They are being wiped out faster than they can reproduce. See the similarity? Nature has a way of protecting herself and other species. Man does not. The Creator built in safeguards. Man will not. Man will destroy. Native and their non Indian friends understand this natural law. Man looking to make money does not care what will be the outcome. Man will be long gone after he has finished mining for greed. I am grateful that educated ones like the geologists are speaking up at the Mining Hearing on Friday. I do not believe that politicians have the knowledge to know geology for one. Hopefully they are learning in order to make sound decisions.

    • Lee March 4, 2012 at 1:41 am #

      Glad to see members of extended local communities involved in this issue! Together our voices can make a difference. They must!

  3. Rev. Carter A. Dary February 19, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I appreciate this article very much. However, the author is guilty of one “angloism”: “left committee chair Robin Voss to try and…”. The correct grammar is “try to”. It’s an infinitive. As in I will try to. I could try and try again, but if I’m going to try to—that is infinite (present/future). The Brits are guilty of this rather consistently and they’re wrong! Look it up! I detect an increasing tendency by reporters/media types to emulate the Brits in their discourse. That’s OK, I guess. However, just because if comes from the Brits, doesn’t mean it’s correct English. They slaugter the king/queen’s English as often or more so than we—although they seem to be convinced that we “provincials” are wrong. The use of the past tense in words such as “got”, as in got to, is correct as in; he had got to or as in he’s gotten to. According to Webster’s, either is correct and the latter is most often and correctly used in the “colony” of America. Which reminds me; the word “either” is correctly pronounced as I-ther or E-ther (Brit vs U.S.). Look it up! 🙂

    • Hematite February 19, 2012 at 1:36 am #

      A grammatical form that is nearly universal cannot be wrong, as grammer is determined entirely by custom and usage. English has no instruction manual. There is not, and never has been, a universally accepted “correct” grammar. And this article was written in English, not Latin, which is where the “rule” against “split infinitives” comes from. You can’t split an infinitive in Latin because the infinitive is a single word. English has no true infinitive. You can approximate one by adding “to” to a verb, but they still are two different words. English has split its two word “infinitives” for as long as it has had them (about 800 years). In most cases it is the more elegant and idiomatic choice.

  4. Dorothy February 19, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Whether or not a fantasy, Mother Nature is more then capable of relieving the earth of the infestation of humankind. Small example… like popping a tiny zit… make a volcano go poof and shut down a continent. And she likely didn’t even notice.

    So many examples of the weather weirdening (made up word) the past number of years. When will we learn?

    The earth will live on once we’ve managed to destroy ourselves. The question is… how did we get so arrogant that we think we can overpower the forces of nature?

    • carlmann February 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      reminds me of a politician in d.c. talking about how we can’t ruin the earth no matter how hard we try because god won’t let that happen. wake up! for all our arrogance, if we all died today, almost all memory of us would be gone in a few thousand years.

  5. James Raasch February 19, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Thank you to the two scientists who had the courage to stand up for Wisconsin. This is exactly the thing that greedy politicians and corporations want to prevent- actual understanding. These scientists are my heroes.

    • dave salmonson February 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

      James, this isn’t just a Wisconsin thing. The toxins would flow into Lake Superior and affect the whole chain of The Great Lakes.

  6. Britton Saunders February 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Great testimony, but if Vos’s reaction is any indicator, which it is, we cannot expect one bit of responsibility from the current crop of corporate-owned right-wing legislators currently running our state into the ground. The best we can hope for is their removal from office this year, followed by an immediate reversal of many of the policies taken up by the current administration which are destroying our state and ruining its economy. This mining bill is just one example of their recklessness and willful ignorance of the common good vs. their pocket books.

    • carlmann February 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      short term gain vs long term plan. they don’t have to worry about poison water when they are living on the high hill, until all the water is poisoned.

  7. Patrricia Avery February 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Once again, well done Wisconsin!!!! I am so proud of the people of my home state for setting the example all other States need to emulate! The good people of the state of Wisconsin have a deep love and respect for their beautiful environment and will not let greed and dishonesty be the spark that destroys it! Keep fighting the good fight! Yes you can beat “City Hall” and you just keep proving it! ON WISCONSIN!!!!

  8. John Ward February 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Let me try and explain. The point is not split infinitives. It is the use of “try and” in place of “try to.” Yes, grammar is flexible, changing, evolving. However, certain grammatical constructions reveal sloppy use of language = sloppy thinking. If someone were to brazenly split an infinitive, I would be able to easily tell they don’t know how to effectively use the language in its full glory. Try and understand.

    • Hematite February 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      That’s just silly. “Correct” grammar and clear thinking are two entirely different things. Indeed, one of the main reasons that people ignore grammatical “rules” is that these rules often forbid the most logical and elegant expressions. For example, prescriptive grammarians do not recognize a second person plural pronoun in modern English. Real English has filled in the gap with expressions like ‘you all’ and ‘yous.’ Prescriptive grammar does not recognize genderless personal pronouns. Real English has long used ‘their’ to clear up this confusion, as in the ungrammatical but perfectly idiomatic and graceful “to each their own.”

      • simplyscrummy February 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

        Or, “If someone were to brazenly split an infinitive, I would be able to easily tell they don’t know how to effectively use the language in its full glory.”

    • simplyscrummy February 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      Who cares?

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