Carlson using ‘straw man’ argument

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Editor’s note: The following is in response to a column written last week by Editor Ben Carlson about the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline.

To the editor:
Ben, Ben, you’ve done it again. It appears to me that in your [discussion] of a BG pipeline that you have used a common debate technique — the old straw man.
The conflating of the two issues (leaky pipe vs. dead soldiers), while on the surface seems sensible and is emotional, are not related in a clear and linear manner.
My wife and I are veterans and we truly applaud your desire of “not sacrificing our children and treasure” in war that is not an imminent defense of our country. We agree that the need for the oil in the Middle East has been one of the major influences in decisions to go to war.
However, the geo-political issue of meddling is far greater than oil. It seems unfair to use soldiers as a shield for a decision.
The BG pipeline has very little, if anything, to do with energy independence. The issue of eminent domain may well depend on whether a court deems the carrier of NGLs as a common carrier for public use as required by statue. This pipeline is not about heating homes with natural gas. It is about the leftover by-products of natural gas that can be shipped elsewhere at ports in the gulf to produce plastics.
I respect your libertarian foundation and your stance as an environmentalist. However, when it comes to pollution the lines of what is my land and what is our communal good become blurred.
Pollution, whether it be trash dumped in a stream or NGLs in a “leaky pipe” becomes everyone’s problem. By the BG pipeline companies own admission, even the “leaky pipe” scenario would be devastating given the number of gallons that could be leaked and never be detected until too late.
Thank you for keeping a discussion going on this issue.
Bill Barrett