Northwest Protests of Omega Morgan-Hauled Tar Sands Megaloads

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12 Transports, 39 Direct Confrontations, 52 Arrests, 2 Citations

Megaload One: Full Evaporator

1) Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) & Allied Protest & Monitoring: October 22, 2012 (Lewiston/Highway 12, Idaho)

2) WIRT & Allied Monitoring: October 23, 2012 (Highway 12, Idaho)

Mini-Megaloads Two & Three: Cylinders

WIRT Missed: December 3 & 4, 2012 (Highway 12, Idaho)

Megaload Four: Full Evaporator

3-6) Nez Perce Tribe & Allied Protests: August 5 to 8, 2013 (Highway 12, Idaho) 28 Arrests

7) Northern Rockies Rising Tide & Allied Protest: August 12, 2013 (Reserve Street, Missoula, Montana)

Mini-Megaloads Five to Eight: Dismantled Evaporator Outer Parts

8) WIRT & Allied Protest: October 15, 2013 (Washington Street, Moscow/Highway 95, Idaho)

Megaload Nine: Dismantled Evaporator Core

9) WIRT & Allied Protest & Monitoring: November 10, 2013 (Washington Street, Moscow/Highway 95, Idaho)

10) WIRT & Allied Protest & Monitoring: November 11, 2013 (Sherman Avenue, Coeur d’Alene/Interstate 90, Idaho)

11) WIRT & Allied Protest & Monitoring: November 12, 2013 (Front & Bank Streets, Wallace/Interstate 90, Idaho) Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Ellen Roskovich 9-29-14


The Monday, September 29, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Ellen Roskovich, a stalwart, core WIRT activist and supporter of environmental justice and community spirit, soon departing Moscow, Idaho, for Portland, Oregon.  Ellen will reminisce about Moscow, WIRT, and indigenous resistance to fossil fuel infrastructure throughout the region during the last three years of her strong involvement in direct actions.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.

WIRT Newsletter: September 26 to October 30 Events


Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies in these upcoming September and October 2014 activities! Expect separate announcements about the Global Frackdown, oil and gas lease auction protest, and other events soon.

Friday, September 26, 4 pm: Ellen and “Pops” Roskovich Bench Dedication Ceremony, East City Park, Third and Monroe Streets, Moscow, Idaho

Sunday, September 28, 2 pm: Hail and Farewell to Ellen Roskovich, D. Willy’s Blues Brew and BBQ, 112 West Sixth Street, Moscow, Idaho

A stalwart, core WIRT activist and supporter of peace and environmental justice, Ellen is soon departing Moscow for Portland, Oregon. Moscow, WIRT, local groups, and grateful friends will miss Ellen’s impressive community spirit, direct activism, and helpful contributions to many causes.  Please join in the festivities at the Friday bench dedication, as the Moscow Volunteer Peace Band offers musical inspiration, and at a Sunday reception to offer Ellen a fitting bon voyage to her new life among close family members.  (information link)

Wednesday, October 1, 1 pm MDT: Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission special public meeting on Alta Mesa’s integration application, Idaho Capitol Room WW55, 700 West Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho (Live audio-streamed at this link)

“The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, in the Capitol, Senate Hearing Room WW55, Lower Level, West Wing, 700 West Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho,…at 1 pm MDT. Topic: Alta Mesa Services, LP application for integration.  This meeting will be streamed live via audio at this web site address…”  (information link)

Saturday, October 11, 11 am MDT: Global Frackdown, Boise Farmers Market at Eleventh and Front Streets, through Capital City Public Market, to the Idaho Capitol steps on Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho

In conjunction with the third Global Frackdown worldwide day of action on October 11, concerned citizens and climate activists are staging another public demonstration calling for a ban on looming fracking and all toxic oil and gas practices in Idaho and around the Earth. WIRT, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE), and other groups will march with protest signs, banners, and chants, through farmers markets to the Idaho Capitol and rally on its steps, to publicly oppose fracking and fossil fuels that poison people and the planet and to demand a future powered by clean, renewable energy.  (information link) Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Michael Lewis & Tina Fisher 9-22-14


The Monday, September 22, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Michael Lewis, director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Idaho Water Science Center in Boise, Idaho, talking about a baseline water quality study proposed for Gem County before natural gas development.  We also discuss recently proposed and ongoing installation of fossil fuel infrastructure with Tina Fisher of Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, and lastly air a half-hour of speeches recorded by KRFP at the People’s Climate March in Portland, Oregon.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.

WIRT Newsletter: September Idaho Gasland News


GASLAND 2 IDAHO ROAD SHOW: BOISE & ONTARIO

Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE), Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and allies are hosting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show, providing community screenings in eight cities across Idaho and plenty of updates about the current oil and gas situation in Idaho [1, 2]. Gasland Part II, the 2013 sequel to independent filmmaker Josh Fox’s Oscar-nominated, movement-building documentary Gasland, reveals the implications for environmental, climate, and human health and American democracy and rights of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil and one of the most important environmental issues currently troubling our nation.

As residents of Payette and surrounding counties and southeastern Idaho face impending fracking, concerned, knowledgeable Idaho activists staging these free, public events will discuss with audience members local initiatives against oil and gas leasing, drilling, processing, and transporting in Idaho. This tour encourages citizen comments on recently revised state oil and gas rules before and/or at a Wednesday, September 24 hearing, as well as participation in grassroots protests during the Global Frackdown on the Capitol steps in Boise on Saturday, October 11, and at statewide Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) offices on Wednesday, October 15, opposing another state lands and minerals lease auction.

Please attend one of these movie showings and conversations on Sunday, September 21, in Boise and/or on Monday, September 22, in Ontario, Oregon. As we mobilize Idaho communities against corporate/government dirty energy inroads and demand protection from the impacts of oil and gas development, please consider generously supporting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show, online through the WIRT website “Donate to WIRT” button or at the address on the WIRT facebook and website pages [3].  Thanks to Arlene, Claire, Ellen, Jane, Judith, Pat, and Rob, we have raised $110 and donated dinner and lodging toward our $400 goal of offsetting film and travel costs, a small amount compared to the thousands of volunteer hours and dollars spent on a dozen regional campaign trips over the last year.  Please also help us promote this crucial road show and statewide fracking resistance by sharing the email, website, and facebook event announcements, printing and widely posting the event flyer, and participating in one of these community screenings and talks [4].  Thanks!

[1] Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show (Wild Idaho Rising Tide and Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction) (facebook event)

[2] Learn about the Dangers of Fracking in the Film ‘Gasland Part II’ Monday (September 17, 2014 Argus Observer)

[3] Support WIRT (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show Flyer (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

OIL & GAS RULES COMMENTS

Please participate in the September 3 through 24 public comment period on the Idaho Rules Pertaining to Conservation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas (IDAPA 20.07.02), recently revised during four June and July negotiated rulemaking sessions. At 5 pm MDT on Wednesday, September 24, the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing on these proposed rules at the IDL office, 300 North Sixth Street, Suite 103, in Boise [5].  Although WIRT intends to develop talking points to prompt your comments, limited electricity and internet access for writing during the statewide Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show may delay or impede this project.  See the dozens of comments posted on the Idaho Department of Lands website, previously submitted IRAGE and WIRT letters, and the following editorial for ideas for your comments.  Please also speak out at the hearing and possible protest on September 24, and send your thoughts to the Idaho Department of Lands at rulemaking@idl.idaho.gov or P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0050 [6-7].

[5] Oil and Gas: Rulemaking for IDAPA 20.07.02 Rules Pertaining to Conservation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas (Idaho Department of Lands)

[6] Comments on Proposed Negotiated Idaho Oil and Gas Rules (August 1, 2014 Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Our View: Don’t Skimp on Gas Oversight (September 3, 2014 Twin Falls Times-News Editorial Board)

“No fracking in Idaho [good luck with that!] means that dangerous, secret chemicals won’t be shot into the ground and potentially the state’s groundwater. But new industrial sites mean more chemicals to keep the machines working.  Gas drilling means potential widespread environmental contamination and even fires and explosions.”

STATE LEASE AUCTION

The Idaho Board of Land Commissioners received applications for state lands and subsurface minerals potentially leased for oil and gas exploitation at the next auction on October 15, where IRAGE and WIRT plan to display public objection [8]. With these proposals, tracts in Cassia County would join the thousands of acres already leased by Alta Mesa and other gas drillers in Canyon, Gem, Owhyee, Payette, and Washington counties [9].  Possibly affected citizens in the Magic Valley and all of these places are raising concerns about explosive chemicals migrating from faulty conventional, fracked, or acidized wells into drinking water and about earthquakes from gas reservoir fracturing and waste injection wells.  The Idaho Department of Lands accepted written comments and held a public, evening hearing on Wednesday, September 10, about these lands and minerals proposed for auction.  We nonetheless encourage overdue comments to IDL at publichearingcomments@idl.idaho.gov or P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0050.

[8] Public Comment Period for Oil and Gas Lease (September 3, 2014 Emmett Messenger-Index)

[9] Cassia County Land for Lease in State Oil and Gas Auction (August 29, 2014 Twin Falls Times-News)

BOMB TRAIN RAIL SPUR & MINI-REFINERY

At a public hearing held by the Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Thursday evening, September 11, at the Payette County Courthouse in Payette, commissioners rubberstamped an Alta Mesa application for a conditional use permit (CUP) to build and operate a New Plymouth processing plant and loading facility for liquefied natural gas “bomb trains” a little over one mile from New Plymouth High School [10]. The Houston, Texas company currently drilling another four wells in Payette County ground-zero covered all of its legal bases and used every loophole in county ordinances by submitting two other applications, a rezoning request to convert prime, irrigated, agricultural land to industrial uses, and an attempt to amend the Payette County comprehensive plan [11, 12].  On the previous Tuesday, September 9, P&Z held a noontime, no-host luncheon, to discuss these applications at Jimbo’s in Payette, and conducted a viewing of the site, both open to the public.  IRAGE activists warned that if the commissioners approved any of these applications, they would allow the “hydrocarbon transportation and ancillary processing” industrial facility to proceed, imposing bomb trains rumbling through communities on nearby city residents and other towns down the rail line.  Although P&Z displayed ignorance of potential impacts by rolling out the CUP red carpet, Alta Mesa scrambling local zoning regulations and comprehensive plans perhaps made P&Z “authorities” uneasy: They tabled the other two applications.  Whether the new rail spur and compression station – and associated natural gas exploitation reliant on this fossil fuel infrastructure – are “done deals” remains to be seen. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Patrick Mazza 9-15-14


The Monday, September 15, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Patrick Mazza, a long-time Washington state climate activist, co-founder of Climate Solutions, and member of 350 Seattle and Rising Tide Seattle.  As one of five Northwest fossil fuels resisters who blockaded an oil train at an Everett rail yard on September 2, Patrick discusses climate change, direct action, and political pressure to resolve impasses.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.

ITD Bigge Calumet Megaload Public Records 9-12-14


Approved with Requirements – Bigge Crane on U.S. 95 & S.H. 200

Bigge Idaho Route Plan Draft 2 (Last)

CMR Procedure for Setting Bridge Jumpers at Strong Creek Bridge

CMR Procedure for Setting Bridge Jumpers at U.S. 95 MP 357.68

CMR Procedure for Setting Bridge Jumpers at U.S. 95 MP 461.315

Heavy Haul General Arrangement – Section 3

ITD Email Messages in 9-12-14 Public Records

Jump Bridge Analysis – Bigge Calumet

North Idaho Transportation Plan Revision B

Section 3 Revision 1A

Strong Creek Jumpers

Transportation Plan Revision 1JR (Last)

U.S. 95 MP 357.68 Jumpers

U.S. 95 MP 461.315 Jumpers

Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show


Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show FlyerIn this explosive 2013 sequel to his Oscar-nominated, movement-building film Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox offers a deeper, broader perspective on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil occurring in 32 countries worldwide [1].  Gasland Part II reveals the high stakes on all sides of one of the most important environmental issues currently troubling our nation.  The documentary discloses the false industry portrayals of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil, as fracked wells inevitably leak toxic chemicals and the potent greenhouse gas, methane, over time.  To rush desperate development that contaminates water and air, threatens environmental and human health, harms families, animals, homes, and businesses, and endangers global climate, the powerful oil and gas industries undermine American democracy.  Join concerned Idahoans to ensure that people, not fossil fuel exploiters, decide the future of this country and protect Americans’ most basic rights.

Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) are hosting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show, providing community screenings across Idaho and plenty of updates about the current oil and gas situation in Idaho.  These free, public events encourage citizen comments on recently revised state oil and gas rules before and/or at a Wednesday, September 24 hearing [2, 3], as well as statewide participation in grassroots protests during the Global Frackdown on the Capitol steps in Boise on Saturday, October 11 [4, 5], and at Idaho Department of Lands offices on Wednesday, October 15, opposing another state lands and minerals lease auction [6].  As residents of Payette and surrounding counties and southeastern Idaho face impending fracking, knowledgeable activists are eager to discuss initiatives against oil and gas leasing, drilling, processing, and transporting in Idaho, with audience members at these scheduled tour stops: Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Don Steinke 9-1-14


The Monday, September 1, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Don Steinke, a retired high school science teacher, member of Rising Tide, and a lead volunteer with the Sierra Club Beyond Coal and Oil Task Force in southwestern Washington.  Don will discuss the proposed Tesoro Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington, Northwest oil by rail, citizen resistance to these incursions, and their regional and global climate change impacts.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.

Report on Three Actions: Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports


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Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports 8-16-14 (August 16, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos)

During the week of August 10, grassroots groups and peaceful protesters coordinated and staged regional actions against increased coal train traffic in interior Northwest communities and West Coast coal exports [1-3].  Sponsored by several climate and tribal organizations, including 350-Missoula, Blue Skies Campaign, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), Indian People’s Action, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide, activists held gatherings, speeches, rallies, marches, and train blockades in eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.  Together, they catalyzed growing inland Northwest opposition largely dismissed by federal and state regulatory processes determining the fate of Powder River Basin coal mines and three proposed coal export facilities at Cherry Point and Longview, Washington, and Boardman, Oregon.

Boardman, Oregon

On Tuesday, August 12, over 40 dedicated people from western Oregon and about a dozen folks from eastern Oregon traveled up to 12 hours via bus and passenger vehicles, through summer storms with wind gusts, heavy rain, and lightning, to the Port of Morrow conference center in Boardman, Oregon [4].  At the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a 401 water quality certification for Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific coal train terminal, coal export opponents convened a lovely pre-hearing picnic, packed the room, and voiced resistance through about 75 percent of the amazing citizen testimony and inquiries during a DEQ question-and-(un)answer session.  Among health professionals, longshore and warehouse union workers, and eastern Oregon residents, Umatilla tribal representatives spoke powerfully against coal export impacts, offering many compelling reasons to deny state permit approval.  Chief Carl Sampson of the Wallulapum Tribe of the CTUIR welcomed coal export opponents and offered strong words, as did his daughter Cathy Sampson-Kruse, his granddaughter Mariah, and Umatilla Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Burke.

Missoula, Montana

Saturday, August 16, brought nonviolent civil disobedience to a Missoula, Montana, rail line for the second time this year, as Montana writer Rick Bass and three concerned Missoula community members stood on both sides of train tracks and temporarily delayed a coal train [5].  While 50 supporters cheered from the sidelines and forced an inbound coal train to crawl through Hellgate Canyon, police arrested and removed the four brave protesters from the path of the oncoming train in the railroad right-of-way, citing them for trespass and releasing them for appearances in court next week.  In April 2014, police similarly arrested seven people during civil disobedience that delayed an outbound train carrying coal.  Author of nonfiction novels and books, Rick Bass read from his current work to the gathering of coal export opponents and asserted that uncovered, dirty coal shipments by rail through Montana towns, moving all the time through all kinds of weather, violate the Montana constitution and contribute toward still correctable climate change.

Sandpoint, Idaho

In the midst of an intensive week of tar sands refinery megaload protests in northern Idaho, Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allied activists gathered in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Saturday, August 16, for a rally, march, and protest of coal export trains traversing and polluting Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth deepest lake in the U.S. [6]  Meeting in Farmin Park, friends and family members brought their protest signs, voices, and chants, and walked through the various parts of the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint, distributing WIRT brochures and urging convergence and participation in the upcoming march.  Activists walked and chanted “Save Our Lake, No Coal Trains!” for a mile on downtown sidewalks and along the paved, lakeside Sagle-to-Sandpoint community trail that merges into the pedestrian bridge paralleling the two-mile vehicular span of the U.S. Highway 95 Long Bridge.  Among human and canine visitors and swimmers at the sandy, public Dog Beach between the highway and the mile-long, railroad trestle bridge, on which dusty coal trains cross Lake Pend Oreille, participants stood in solidarity with regional action partners and 75 Northwest activists arrested during coal export protests over the last few years.  They supported and immediately shared news of Missoula rail line blockaders arrested concurrently and of the Confederated Umatilla Tribes’ honorable rejection of Morrow Pacific bribes to build and benefit from the Coyote Island Terminal in Boardman.  Local protesters noted that the nearby train tracks remained eerily but thankfully vacant during the hours-long Sandpoint action. Continue reading

Sunday Night Megaload Protest Around Idaho Highway 200


Multiple on-site and network sources confirmed at about 9:30 pm on Friday, August 15, that the Calumet tar sands refinery hydrocracker section hauled by Bigge Crane and Rigging would not move on Friday and Saturday nights, August 15 and 16.  Although the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has released the Bigge transportation plan for hauling this million-pound transport on the most convoluted route ever across Idaho and Montana to Great Falls, and several mainstream media sources have circulated information about its Montana route, it is unclear whether MDT has yet issued Bigge a Montana megaload permit [1].  The agency generally does not allow oversize rig travel during the day or on weekend (Friday and Saturday) nights.  As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) compiles a comprehensive report about the last week of megaload protesting, monitoring, and formal petitioning in Idaho, as well as a description of upcoming Montana megaload transit plans and associated resistance, please provide an appropriate send-off to the Bigge/Calumet load and convoy that have so thoroughly degraded public resources and democracy in Idaho.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide is deeply grateful for the enthusiastic and experienced commitment and camaraderie of the progressive Idaho panhandle community, shared during respective Thursday and Saturday Sandpoint protests of this inbound refinery component and outbound coal export shipments.  We are depending on the strength and spirit of a great group of protestors converging in Hope and Clark Fork to oppose the passage of the Bigge/Calumet hydrocracker megaload on its last night in Idaho.  Early on Friday morning, Bigge parked its payload, trailers, and trucks at Idaho Highway 200 milepost 44.4, just west of Hope, Idaho, in anticipation of movement on Sunday night or later [2].  The convoy will travel on Business Highway 200 through Hope and East Hope, use jump bridges to traverse Strong and Riser Creeks, and risk sharp turns from Wellington Place to Centennial Boulevard and back onto Highway 200, not to mention the hazards of roadside cliffs and sloughing roadway along nearby Lake Pend Oreille wetlands and shorelines.  Please see Idaho and Montana Bigge transportation plans posted on the WIRT website and bring your friends, family, and protest signs to gather outside the Old Ice House Pizzeria, 140 West Main Street in Hope, at 9 pm on Sunday, August 17, and to monitor and protest the last 18 miles of this Alberta tar sands/Bakken shale oil infrastructure onslaught through Idaho [3-5].

[1] Million-Pound Megaload Will Roll through Bull, Swan Valleys (August 15, 2014 Ravalli Republic)

[2] Bigge-Hauled Calumet Hydrocracker Section at Idaho Highway 200 Milepost 44, Idaho 8-15-14 (August 15, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[3] ITD Highway 95 & 200 Megaload Public Records 7-31-14 (July 31, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Old Ice House Pizzeria, 140 West Main Street in Hope, Idaho (August 17, 2014 Google Maps)

[5] Biggest Megaload Never! (August 10, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)