Debate over mining continues at rally in Stevens Point - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Debate over mining continues at rally in Stevens Point

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -

The debate over mining took center stage today at a rally in Stevens Point. A bill that would allow for an iron mine in Northern Wisconsin area is dead for now.

But, people are still debating the issue. A group gathered in Stevens Point on Saturday to talk about the dangers of mining.

"We wanted to raise awareness through live music great food and some informative speakers and booths," said Adam Greuel, an organizer for the Save the Penokee Springfest at UWSP.

Some argue iron mining could bring hundreds of jobs to the state, but fear that the mining process could harm the environment caused some to vote against the plan.

"We have to weigh what would be lost in return for these jobs and we better be very careful when we make that decision," said Pete Rasmussen, a member of the Penokee Hills Education Project.

Democratic State Rep. Donna Seidel, (D) Wausau, voted against the bill in February. She said it's an issue that shouldn't be taken lightly. 

"Unless we do it correctly, unless we are smart about what we do that there could be some unforeseen consequences that could be very, very severe and play out in Wisconsin for decades and generations to come," said Seidel.

But, Republican State Rep. Scott Suder, (R) Abbotsford, disagreed.

"The company as a result, as a result of all the democrats in the state assembly and state senate saying no, the company left, thereby that opportunity, those thousands of jobs, those job opportunities left the state of Wisconsin," said Suder.

Despite tension surrounding the mining issue, and the failure of the bill, the conversation continues.

"We would be happy to have some discussion about it, and you know that's really the goal is to get these issues out there and get these issues discussed," said Greuel. 

Officials we talked to said they will continue to look at the issue, and the possibility of mining safely in the state.

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