To the Journal editor:
Once again we learn why vision is so important when it comes to electing our government officials as we grimace at John Pepin's story "Board rejects new draft of mine tax."
The Marquette County Board rejected the third draft of Rep. Huuki's legislation creating a non-ferrous mining operations severance tax. To the board we say big deal. You have no negotiating position anymore because you foolishly placed yourself squarely behind Rio Tinto's proposed mining operations from the onset.
Where are we now? The mine is in its final stages of construction. We know that yet another alternative road proposal has been found unacceptable by two of the three federal agencies with oversight responsibilities.
And now we learn that the amount of money the local government will receive as Rio Tinto extracts billions of dollars worth ore from the earth beneath Marquette County is about to be slashed in half.
And there's absolutely nothing these powerless local officials can do about it. Why would anyone think that Rio Tinto wouldn't find a way out of building a road in the first place? Why would any state elected official, who have nothing but disdain for local governments, do anything but cut their money?
My plea to the Marquette County Board is simple. Go now to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and demand that they require a permit under the Clean Water Act for the Eagle mine water discharges. It's your last chance at redemption and it is the law.