80 Feet Is Enough! members respond to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce editorial
The letter to the editor in the Dec. 31, 2016, edition of the Hub City Times by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce representative Lucas Vebber contains many inaccurate and misleading statements about the Marshfield-based organization 80 Feet Is Enough! that beg to be refuted.
For example, Mr. Vebber inaccurately states that members of 80 Feet Is Enough! are trying to further our “environmentalist goals” by resisting Enbridge’s oil pipeline expansion plans. While we — as well as many others — do care about protecting the environment, our interest lies primarily in protecting property rights, property values, and personal safety. We are resigned to living with the current 80-foot-wide easement Enbridge currently holds on our properties, but we are resisting giving up any more land for them from which to profit.
Mr. Vebber’s claim that our intent is to “line their own pockets financially” is blatantly false. We are an entirely volunteer organization. No one is being paid, and any money donated to us is used to support our cause.
Additionally, Mr. Vebber asserts that “the authority to condemn property was neither expanded nor increased in any way” in the 2015-2017 state budget. Despite this misleading claim, the fact remains that Enbridge lobbyists worked with state legislators to change the wording in state statutes relating to eminent domain powers to accommodate Enbridge’s corporate structure, thereby specifically benefitting Enbridge. And let’s not forget that this was done behind the scenes and added to the budget through the controversial Motion 999 procedure, where it was passed late on the Thursday night before the Fourth of July holiday weekend with no authorship and no prior public notice. More information on this and other topics related to Enbridge can be found on the “Published Articles” page under the “News” tab on our website
Finally, Mr. Vebber refers to 80 Feet Is Enough! members as “radicals,” “environmental extremists,” and “environmental activists.” In the current political climate where environmental protections are under constant attack on the state, national, and international levels, environmental causes need all the friends and help they can get. If caring about the environment and standing up for my property rights and values and the safety of my family now means that I am a “radical environmental extremist,” then that is a label I will wear with pride.
80 Feet Is Enough! member
I am not a radical environmental activist. I am a property owner in Lincoln Township that pays property taxes. We purchased rural property because we value nature and a healthy environment.
Enbridge boasts a better than 99.99 percent safety record, yet there was an oil leak within 1 mile of our property, which contaminated a private well and required the landowners to relocate.
If Enbridge expands, they will be clearing forest the entire length of our property, destroying valuable wildlife habitat. This also decreases our property value and puts us at a higher risk for water/well contamination. They currently do “integrity digs” on our property almost once a year to inspect and repair their pipelines. We do not need more.
Yes, 80 feet is enough. Let wildlife and landowners enjoy their homes and investment.
80 Feet Is Enough! member