The World has done a potentially serious injustice to the community with their front page headliner, “Firefighter group talks LNG.” Most people reading that might reasonably assume the article was firefighters taking an anti-LNG approach with our legislators and the article certainly did nothing to disabuse readers of that notion.

The bald truth is FUSEE is a thinly veiled environmentalist group run by a Phd and two JDs, one of whom also has a Phd. The organization is a nonprofit environmentalist/conservationist organization that claims to be genuinely concerned about our environment. With two lawyers in the senior management group, one might wonder if they are not also in business raise funds from well-meaning people and to file lawsuits for the purpose extorting settlements and pocketing the fees derived therefrom. That is certainly not an unfamiliar modus operandi with such groups.

They wax on about the dangers to our forests from ruptured pipelines and the support a pipeline gives to the burning of fossil fuels. Sound familiar? They do not mention the benefits of replacing coal with natural gas thereby reducing emissions by 30 percent or more.

There are 18,000 miles of gas pipeline of which 755 miles are currently high pressure transmission lines in Oregon. The Public Utilities Commission has the regulatory responsibility and is required, by law, to inspect these lines at least once every three years. FUSEE, like most of its ilk, talks much about all the dangers and calamities that COULD happen but little or nothing about what has historically happened. Perhaps, FUSEE would like to share with us the number of forest fires that have been started or exacerbated by ruptured gas pipelines. We could then compare that number to the number that have been started by humans intentionally or carelessly or lightening or even electric transmission lines. If they did, the general public would have some meaningful basis for making a reasonable risk/reward analysis.

Kudos to Chief Mark Anderson for standing his ground on the subject. More REAL firefighting professionals should do likewise.

Jon Barton

Coos Bay

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