UPDATE: Wis. Candidates got $758K from Sand, Gas Industry

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new report says the sand mining and natural gas industries have given Wisconsin candidates nearly $758,000 since 2007, with contributions spiking last year as sand mining took off in the state.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign study found the gas and sand mining industries gave candidates a total of $18,762 in 2007 when only five sand mines were operating in the state. Last year the industries gave candidates $413,642.

About 100 mines and processing plants were running in Wisconsin that year. Demand for silica sand is grown because it's used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a process that produces oil and gas.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker received the most money of any candidate over that six year period, accepting $520,266.

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UPDATE: 5/21 at 4:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's budget-writing committee has approved pulling money from the state's environmental management fund to cover sand mining inspections.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted Tuesday to approve the proposal from Gov. Scott Walker.

Money in the environmental management fund comes from a number of sources, including fees landfills pay the state, vehicle environmental impact fees and pesticide fees. The money goes toward recycling, cleaning up contaminated land and fighting pollution run-off from farm fields.

Walker's budget calls for using nearly $447,000 from the fund to enable the Department of Natural Resources to add sand mine compliance and inspection to the responsibilities of three to four existing staffers.

ORIGINAL STORY: 5/21 at 9:20 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's budget-writing committee is scheduled to review provisions in Gov. Scott Walker's spending plan that would pull money from the state's environmental management fund to cover sand mining inspections.

Money in the environmental management fund comes from a number of sources, including fees landfills pay the state, vehicle environmental impact fees and pesticide fees. The money goes toward recycling, cleaning up contaminated land and fighting pollution run-off from farm fields.

Walker's 2013-15 budget calls for using nearly $447,000 from the fund to enable the Department of Natural Resources to add sand mine compliance and inspection to the responsibilities of three to four existing staffers.

The Joint Finance Committee is expected to take up the language Tuesday. The panel could approve it as written, delete it or revise it.


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