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There are hidden reasons why the Cline Mining Group wishes to create an open pit iron mine in northern Wisconsin. For starters, there is more than just low grade iron ore to be found in the Penokee Range. The so-called waste rock, a.k.a. the Tyler Shale formation, is rich in phosphate. Although America already has about 100 years worth of iron ore available, there is only about a five year supply of phosphate on tap. This mineral is one of the essential three components in commercial NPK fertilizer, and it is the scarcest one at that. It is also a terrible pollutant that has been banned from laundry detergent for decades.

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However, I believe that a darker, more sinister reason that this mine is being pushed by the powers that be is their divide and conquer strategy to keep the masses at each others' throats. Cline and company are well aware of the Ojibwa Tribe's treaties. They know that when all is said and done that these trump state of Wisconsin statutes. A bigger corporation than Gogebic Taconite has been held at bay by the Mole Lake Chippewas when Exxon was prevented from creating a gigantic copper mine at the headwaters of the Wolf River in 1998.

The Environmental Protection Agency has already recognized the Bad River Tribe's authority to regulate water quality in the Bad River Watershed, and is close to doing the same when it comes to air quality. GTAC's owners know this. They know that local tourism related businesses and their allies in the environmental movement have joined forces with the Indian people to fight this mine.

I can only conclude that certain interests wish to once more foment racial strife in northwest Wisconsin, just like they did in the 1980s when the tribes fought the legal battle which solidified their treaty rights. This is a shameless tactic that is embraced by the Walker administration, Republican legislators, and their bosses, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

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Originally posted to James Richard Bailey on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:37 AM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, Native American Netroots, and Badger State Progressive.

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