Readers respond to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce editorial
In calling 80 Feet Is Enough! radical environmentalists, Mr. Lucas Vebber from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is using the classic political tactic of negatively defining his opponent by name calling and spreading misinformation. That is not going to work in community-minded Marshfield, where if anything was radical, everyone would know it.
Members of 80 Feet Is Enough! are regular, salt-of-the-earth, tax-paying, Wisconsin citizens. We are Democrats and Republicans, politically left and right, and yes, many of us care about the environment.
What unites us is our opposition to Enbridge’s plans to take more of our land for their next oil pipeline expansion. On our properties Enbridge already holds a permanent, never-ending easement that is 80 feet wide. In that easement are three pipelines carrying nearly 2.2 million barrels of oil a day and one pipeline carrying thinning agent back to the tar sands of northern Alberta. We are not trying to stop these pipelines as Mr. Vebber claims. We are just saying 80 feet is enough of our land to take.
But now Enbridge wants more land, and they have maneuvered the Wisconsin political system to make it easier for them to take land by eminent domain. That is a fact. Taking American landowners’ property against their will to give to a Canadian oil pipeline company for their profit? Now that is radical.
Mr. Vebber, you claim 80 Feet Is Enough! is spreading misinformation. Can you back that up in a public debate? Let us debate the merits and constitutionality of Enbridge’s expansion plans. Let us hear Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce construct the moral argument for taking private land for business profit. I propose we debate at the Lincoln Town Hall in early March.
When we debate you will not find a bunch of radicals. Instead, the hall will be filled with central Wisconsin landowners who value their property rights. You can contact me to arrange a date through the 80 Feet Is Enough! website, 80feetisenough.org.
The writer’s use of scare tactics: He starts with antifossil fuel environmental activists and quickly changes it to environmental extremists and radicals. We all know about extremists and radicals.
The writer further states that a goal of groups opposing pipelines and the expansion of current lines is “to further its environmental goals.”
The writer goes on to say well-funded activists stir up trouble elsewhere and that these activist, radical extremists are here in your backyard. Fear tactics?
Now, I am one of the radical, activist extremists looking to further my environmental goals. I demand clean water, clean air, and unpolluted land.
I wonder what the writer wants.