"It's still a bad bill," Jauch said. "It injects legal curiosity and it invites legal challenges and that's contrary to the whole idea of streamlining this. We will look like a state that's anti-mining. There will be litigation after litigation after litigation."

Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, a member of the Assembly committee, said the mine wouldn't be an "economic panacea," but the changes offered in the bill would set a new tone for how Wisconsin handles potential new projects like the mine.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, a Senate committee member, said she trusts the DNR wouldn't allow the mine to ruin the area.

"We've laid out a really good map in terms of due diligence," she said. "We have to balance this good (environmental) protection ... with the opportunity of getting economic developing and growing jobs in northwestern Wisconsin."

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Associated Press writer Scott Bauer in Madison contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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