Oct 7, 2015

Big Ag Orders GOP Lawmakers and Court: We Want All Water and Right to Pollute

Bi Ag wants all the water, the right to pollute, and the
immediate halting of state appeals to the
Wisconsin Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine
protecting our water, the public's water
Source: October 5, 2015 press release
Update: See also DNR to factory farms: How can we help?, "The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with protecting the state’s environment, is creating a website portal to help large-scale developers and the operators of factory farms." (Lueders, Isthmus)
Wisconsin wetlands, streams, ponds, lakes and (underground) aquifers—from which most of rural Wisconsin gets its drinking water—are now corporate resources by Big Agriculture demanding full control of water through new state laws to be enacted by Republicans, an October 5 press release reads, and orders.

The brazen nature of the October 5 press release reflects the mentality of Big Agriculture in Wisconsin.

They demand "certainty" from the Republican legislators they finance, and they want their right to aquifers enshrined in law, while Big Ag plays the victim and gets its way in the DNR now in a pretension Big Ag does not already own Republican legislators, the DNR and Scott Walker.

As for the Wisconsin families who live here, (not in gated communities far from the industrialized, polluting operations like CAFO owner James Wysocki), most would be happy if Big Ag would just leave Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, Big Ag is protected by the Republican Party, and the DNR which jettisoned its scientists and imploded the DNR into a Big Ag and other polluters-protection operation.

Big Ag wants more money, period.

As for tourism and recreation, including Mike Keiser's golf resort in central Wisconsin, Keiser and his investors are going to find out the hard way what liquid cow manure sprayed into the air does to the surrounding region. Keiser better hope visitors to his resort like flies.

Industrialized agriculture is predatory, heartless, and does not care how many children are poisoned, how many streams are destroyed, lakes dried-up and how many water water wells are contaminated by the 1,000s of millions of liquid manure sprayed into the environment for which Big Ag proposes entitlement by state law.

Though Big Ag pretends to want to "feed the world;" this is a lie. State Rep. Scott Klug (R-Nekoosa) is the worst liar fronting for the polluters.

It's about the money, and the hell with Wisconsin families.
The October 5 press release by Big Ag industry groups is reproduced below:

An urgent communication to all Wisconsin legislatorsWe are at a crossroads. It is imperative that the legislature assert its authority and bring certainty and sanity to the regulation of new and existing high capacity wells in Wisconsin.

The Problem

The State of Wisconsin, Agriculture, and Industry all need certainty and clarity in the permitting of new and existing wells. The arbitrary and subjective nature of the process has led to a cycle of stagnation, litigation, and businesses uncertainty. No reasonable business that needs water from such wells will invest millions of dollars to locate or expand here given such uncertainty.

Because the Department of Natural Resources has created a backlog for those who need to drill new wells and those looking to repair or transfer ownership of existing ones, the legislature must ACT before the end of this session.

The unelected bureaucrats at the DNR are seizing on the vague nature of the Wisconsin Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine in such a way that it is doing real harm to your constituents. This backlog of permits, which does nothing to protect the environment, is costing more than just jobs, it threatens our standing as a state friendly to agriculture and business. Moreover, the backlog doesn't reflect the unknown potential projects that were never submitted, having been abandoned in reaction to the current regulatory climate here.

The Solution

We need the legislature to provide:
•Specificity in statutory procedures and science-based standards that provide for timely and certain new well permitting
•Protection for code compliant private wells if it is proven that a high capacity well caused damage to the well
•A clear, science-based, statutory process to ensure that we uncover any problems caused by high capacity wells, such as any harm to surface waters, and a well-defined framework for the Legislature to take further steps to correct any such problems
•Clarification of the public trust doctrine with the Supreme Court's Rock-Koshkonong decision [meaning Big Ag's orders apply to the Wisconsin Supreme Court judicial policymaking as well: Kill the Wisconsin Constitution's Public Trust Doctrine]
•Certainty in the repair, replacement, reconstruction, and transfer of existing high cap wells

(-over-October 5, 2015 - HAND DELIVERED)

Wisconsinites deserve to have our water protected by scientifically-sound, responsible, common sense legislation that allows our great farmers to responsibly use this life-giving, renewable resource to feed the world’s families.

Wisconsin is fortunate to enjoy an abundant water supply for drinking water. So, when someone claims our beautiful lakes, rivers and streams are drying up because the state's regulations of high capacity wells are not onerous enough —as some so-called environmental groups have done— we take notice. We not only set the record straight (see the attached column) but we roll up our sleeves and get to work to fix the problem.

We represent thousands of families who work on their land. They live on their land and they raise families on their land. They know full well that depleting the aquifer would threaten their livelihoods, their families’ future and Wisconsin.

If this sounds like an urgent plea, that is because this is. We cannot wait any longer for the legislation described above.

However, we cannot accept any legislation that would create new, stifling regulations or establish regulatory uncertainty as to how DNR and the state will approach new well applications moving forward.

There are some in this state who want to ensure no piece of land is ever tilled and no drop of water is ever extracted. They view us as exploiters of the environment. While we are not environmental activists, we are active environmentalists. Please do not think the status quo stalemate protects the environment—it does not. However, the standstill does indeed jeopardize our future.

We are steadfast in our commitment to fixing these problems. We are counting on the legislators who we elected and represent us in the State Capitol to defend us against this emerging war on Wisconsin Agriculture and the businesses that are the backbone of the state's economy.

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