The only currently-declared Democratic candidate for Wisconsin governor said she's open to a proposed open pit iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills, but she said she would have vetoed the Republican bill passed this year that speeds up the mine permitting process.
Mary Burke was in Superior, Ashland and Bayfield over the weekend as part of her state campaign tour. She said she got an earful about mining.
“People are concerned about whether we are risking the sustainability and natural resources that are such assets to the state without the needed protections,” Burke said. “People are concerned about jobs, and want to make sure we do have good paying jobs, but also want to make sure that that's balanced with protecting our resources, which are important for not only this generation but generations to come.”
Burke said she's still looking into the issue and thinks mining can happen, but only under certain circumstances, not those set by the Republican legislation.
“If the conditions are right, we should be looking at opportunities that are going to create jobs, but we make sure we are protecting our natural resources," she said.
While in Ashland, Burke didn't meet with Bad River tribal officials, who are among the leading opponents of the mine, but she says she'd like to do that. She said it's important to meet with people who would be affected by an iron ore mine.