Guest commentary Why we take on the environmental left

Print Article

Have you ever met someone who wants to destroy air and water? We haven’t.

Nevertheless, despite air and water quality getting better in Wisconsin, this is the attack consistently leveled against us. We even managed to make a special interest group’s “dishonor roll” and have been labeled environmental lightning rods. Why? Because we have the audacity to take on the environmental left.

Perhaps it’s easier to engage in personal attacks than actually debate the issue at hand.

WE BOTH relish a good fight, but that’s actually not why we engage in crafting environmental policy.

Deep down, the reason we get involved in these fights is because they are incredibly important to the people we represent in rural and northern Wisconsin. While we have an abundance of natural resources, job opportunities can be very limited. Smart policies can have a dramatic impact on economic growth and job opportunities in northern Wisconsin. Why? It’s a matter of scale.

IMAGINE if a new business opened in a suburban Milwaukee community and it provided 100 middle class jobs (loaded wage rates of $30 per hour). This would be great, but it would barely be a drop in the bucket in a vast urban metropolis.

On the other hand, where we live, many communities have less than 1,000 people. Imagine if a paper mill or frac sand facility employing 100 people at that same wage rate opened in that community. It’d be huge!

Just one good business can be the lifeblood of an entire community. It’s not just the direct jobs, but it’s the indirect jobs — truckers, electricians, plumbers, contractors, restaurant, and gas station owners, bankers, car dealers, realtors. Again, it’s a matter of scale.

THE REALITY is that our rural communities live or die with decisions suburban legislators make in Madison.

An ill-suited, overly-restrictive rule can literally ruin a community. That’s why we are so stridently opposed to Madison and Washington rules and regulations that kill job opportunities in farming, manufacturing, forestry, and tourism.

If you live downstate or in a more urban or suburban community, you may think these issues don’t impact you. They do.

If people in northern Wisconsin can’t find family-sustaining jobs, they will be more dependent on government programs (which your tax dollars will fund) and there will also be a deficiency in our tax base, meaning you will also fund our schools. So, yes, the northern Wisconsin economy matters to you, even if you don’t live there.

THIS session, we will continue to press for legislation that runs afoul of the dogmatic beliefs held by many so-called environmentalists.

We intend to further streamline some rules and regulations and repeal those that don’t make sense. It’s a matter of life and death for our communities. When the attacks come from the self-proclaimed environmentalists, we hope our friends and neighbors across the rest of the state will stand with us, because it matters to you too.

Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, serve in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Print Article

Read More Opinion

‘BMHS students were tremendous’

April 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm | I had the privilege of attending the Tony Scodwell ceremony at Beloit Memorial High School on Thursday morning, April 20. This program was to induct Tony Scodwell into the Beloit Memorial High School...

Comments

Read More

‘Donors buy what they want done’

April 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm | The High Capacity Well bill that passed the Senate and awaits passage in the Assembly ends the legal rights of people whose drinking water, lakes or steams are harmed by industrial grade wells [pumpi...

Comments

Read More

‘Wisconsin needs to keep Walker’

April 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm | In 2010, I cast my vote for Scott Walker. I was disappointed with the out of control spending of Governor Doyle and his fellow Democrats and the year after year increases in taxes to pay for their sp...

Comments

Read More

‘Walker working for Wisconsin’

April 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm | The good news for Wisconsin keeps getting better. The State Department of Workforce Developments latest report showed Wisconsins unemployment rate in March was 3.4%. That is down from Februarys rate...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2017 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X