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Letter: Enbridge is still not the enemy

In an effort to rebut some of Mr. Hlavsa’s recent comments (or rants), first of all, as you did, I gave my address and phone number to the Park Rapids Enterprise, who as a policy do not print that information, so I did acknowledge myself, just like you did.

Regarding the question as to whether or not anyone in the Park Rapids area “knows who Mr. Schoneberger is,” well, I grew up in Bemidji, but a walk through the two local cemeteries in Park Rapids would disclose a bit more about, my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, I could go on.

I also know that if I was truly interested in someone, I too could spend less than a minute online and find out for free some rudimentary information on just about anyone - but that is if I was interested and it would not bother me to do so.

You can rest easy, though. I did not take that minute to find out “who you are.” Also, if getting a paycheck is directly benefiting from the oil and gas business, then yes, I do benefit from it. Just like our 400 or so direct employees (some from Park Rapids, Bemidji, Gonvick, Bagley and Clearbrook areas) benefit from that same paycheck.

Enough of the disclosure nonsense.

I have over 30 years in the oil and gas industry. Half of that working for three of the major oil and gas pipeline companies all over the country, and the other half with United Piping, Inc.

Our company employs nearly 400 union workers that feed their families (just like I do), and put their kids through school (just like I did) while working very hard to make things better! My professional opinion of the industry and how it works (very hard) is very personal to me and having an engineering degree and being licensed in four states as a professional engineer allows me to be objective and not emotional about it.

The pipeline industry is a great industry. Just like the logging industry is a great industry (by the way, that got me from birth, through college), but people love to fight things they do not know anything about and draw conclusions with only knowing one little snippet of emotional information.

Now the engineer comes out wondering how one can draw a “conclusion” from one data point. I have seen in those 30+ years how the industry has changed and learned to be “better” and continually gets “better.”

Technology and the use of it to make the pipelines safer is a real “space shuttle” type of story. The construction materials, construction specifications, construction methods and increase in overall quality just amazes me and they weren’t bad before.

The oldest pipeline that I have personally worked on was built in 1929 and it still operates safely today. We can’t make a car last that long (remember my analogy from before?), but we keep building and buying them anyway because we need them. Let’s work together!

Bob Schoneberger

Gordon, Wis.