State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) has rarely made a promise he has kept.
Krug was elected in 2010 after a solemn promise to serve two terms, and never accept a penny of per diem money. Both were lies. "I'm for real," two terms and I'm out, declared Scott Krug in a campaign plank in 2010.
Now Krug has committed another betrayal on protecting fresh water.
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 874, a dangerous anti-groundwater bill that would facilitate the operation and permitting of high capacity wells drawing over 100,000 gallons of water per day, was passed out of the Assembly Committee on Environment and Forestry yesterday. Krug voted for AB 874 and broke his promise.
Krug serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee. He had promised citizen groups privately in the Central Sands region AB 874 would not advance in a series of emails last year.
"We are under assault by the state legislature. Krug has totally betrayed us," said a Saratoga man fighting the siting of a Concentrated (Confined) Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) in central Wisconsin. CAFOs use massive amounts of water, and vector it back laden with toxins and feces into the environment.
Krug is a champion of Big Ag in Wisconsin and polluting CAFOs but in a particularly brazen series of moves has has told groups such as Protect Wood County and Our Neighbors that he opposes a proposed massive new CAFO and anti-clean water legislation opposed by citizen groups
"I’m very disappointed that Rep. Krug had the opportunity to kill Assembly Bill 874, but instead he chose to side with the lobbyists and special interests. I’ve heard overwhelmingly from you about your strong opposition to this legislation and appreciate your advocacy on this vital issue for the Central Sands," said State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point).
Krug's advocacy for AB 874 comes after a raft of anti-clean water bills and other legislation giving away the fresh water of Wisconsin to special interests have been passed by Wisconsin Republicans. Special interests have also enlisted the Republican attorney general to provide legal backing to water depletion initiatives.
The betrayal following other betrayals and broken promises by Krug was feared.
"As feared, Assembly Bill 874 (Gudex bill) was approved in committee and now moves to the Assembly for approval. It shortcuts the process for high cap well replacement, creates a 'de facto' water right and takes the DNR out of the permitting process when wells are replaced or ownership transferred. Notice that our Representative Scott Krug was one of those approving it in committee. So much for protecting groundwater in our district. Don't forget the over 3,000 high cap wells in our central sands area. It's up to voters like you and me," writes Don Ystad of Adams County in an email to fresh water advocates.
Writes the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters in a press release:
From the start, the intent of the Death by a Thousand Straws Bill has been clear. Big Ag has lobbied legislators to advance the interests of their thirsty clients at the expense of the state’s valuable groundwater and the many people who rely on it.
Today, in the year 2016, there are people whose drinking water wells are running dry and lakes and rivers are drying up because high capacity wells are over pumping our groundwater supply. Yet, Death by a Thousand Straws moves forward and heads to the floor of the Assembly later this week.
We are very concerned that, despite an outpouring of opposition from thousands of Wisconsinites, including many who are directly impacted by loss of groundwater, legislators chose to listen to special interests rather than their constituents. We have a real groundwater crisis in this state and Death by a Thousand Straws not only refuses to address this problem – it makes it so we can never reach a commonsense, bipartisan solution.
The people of Wisconsin – especially those affected by careless and irresponsible groundwater management – deserve better.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters was disappointed to see Representatives Mursau, Krug, Czaja, Kitchens, Swearingen, Edming, and R. Brooks vote in favor of AB 874 during the executive session committee vote. Representatives Mason, Milroy, Hebl, Stuck, Considine, and Allen voted against the bill.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is calling on members of the Assembly to stand in opposition to Death by a Thousand Straws and with their constituents who have taken action thousands of times and urged their decision makers to vote no on this bill.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources.
The lifeblood of civilization, clean water, is now a just another commodity Republicans are giving away to special interests, as they eviscerate protections against polluters.