Inland NW Oil Train Terminal Rally & Hearing

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Tesoro Savage Hearing Train

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied groups carpooling from Moscow and Sandpoint, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, to participate in the 4:30 pm regional community rally against the Tesoro-Savage Vancouver Energy Project, an oil train terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver, Washington. At the same location – Centerplace Regional Event Center at 2426 North Discovery Place in Spokane Valley, Washington – the Washington state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) is hosting a public hearing on the project’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), from 5 to 11 pm or until the last testifier, hopefully late at night after many opposing speakers [1, 2].

Big Oil plans to build the largest crude-by-rail terminal in North America, potentially transferring an estimated 360,000 barrels per day of explosive Bakken shale oil and volatile Alberta diluted bitumen (tar sands) to tank farms across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, and to huge, ocean-going oil tankers shipping it to West Coast refineries and the world market [3]. Inevitable, resulting oil spills into river, lake, or sea waters along rail and ocean routes, especially releases of thick tar sands oil that sinks to the bottom of waterways, would disastrously affect local and regional environments, communities, and economies.

While moving enormous volumes of oil that ultimately impact our shared global climate, the Tesoro-Savage facility would also increase the risk of fiery oil train accidents in countless communities along Northwest rail lines, from the Hi-Line around U.S. Highway 2 in Montana, to U.S. Highway 95 corridor towns from Bonners Ferry to Rathdrum in northern Idaho, to the dangerously elevated bridge and track funnels through the Sandpoint, Idaho area and downtown Spokane, Washington, and down the Columbia River Gorge between eastern Oregon and Washington to Vancouver [4, 5]. The huge oil export terminal would bring four more 100-car trains hauling flammable cargo through climate-change-drying forests, increasingly dense cities, and ever more precious water bodies every day.  Public officials and emergency responders across the Northwest have raised concerns about the severe threats of train derailments, explosions, and pollution, as such incidents continually proliferate [6-8].

Northwesterners have successfully delayed, re-routed, and/or stopped similar fossil fuel infrastructure plans over the last five years, most notably tar sands mining and refining megaloads, coal export terminals, and just this week, a Grays Harbor oil terminal [9]. Faced with a flood of proposed coal, oil, and liquefied natural gas terminals in the Pacific Northwest, hundreds of concerned citizens like you have attended hearings to tell decision-makers no.  Altogether, people power has delayed nine fossil fuel terminals and stopped nine others in Oregon and Washington.

In Spokane Valley on January 14, your help is essential to protecting the safety, health, and environment of the Idaho panhandle and inland Northwest, by halting this oil terminal and its additional trains crossing the region [10]. Although jumping through government/industry-imposed hearing hoops held up to placate the public is not radical climate activism – wherein citizens, not their oppressors, define the terms of engagement – we encourage you to speak out and show the advising Washington EFSEC and decision-maker Governor Jay Inslee that the dirty and dangerous Tesoro-Savage proposal is all risk and no reward for our communities.  Hundreds of terminal opponents are already making history at these three important public meetings [11].  Native nations, civic groups, environmental organizations, firefighters, health and emergency professionals, and other individuals will similarly attend the Spokane Valley hearing. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Delta 5 Oil Train Blockaders Abby Brockway & Mike Lapointe 2-3-16


The Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Delta 5 oil-by-rail blockaders and jury trial defendants Abby Brockway and Mike Lapointe, who locked down to a tripod in an Everett, Washington rail yard all day on September 2, 2014.  Abby and Mike will talk about the motivations and logistics of their heroic direct action, the testimony, verdict, and aftermath of their precedent-setting, week-long, court hearing, and how grassroots, frontline, rail corridor residents can emulate their protests of climate-wrecking, life-threatening, fossil fuel transportation in the Northwest.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Oil-by-Rail Decline, Coal Lease Moratorium, Climate-Changed Blizzard 1-27-16


The Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses the decline of oil-by-rail and oil and gas development funding, the East Coast blizzard worsened by climate change, a federal moratorium on coal leasing of public lands, a blockade of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline terminal test drilling, and other breaking fossil fuel resistance news.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

WIRT Comments on Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement


January 22, 2016

Sonia Bumpus, EFS Specialist, & EFSEC Members

Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC)

State of Washington

1300 S. Evergreen Park Drive SW

P.O. Box 43172

Olympia, Washington 98504-3172

sbumpus@utc.wa.gov

Sent via email and attachment

WIRT Comments on Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Members of the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council,

On behalf of over 3200 members, friends, and allies of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), including potentially impacted, concerned north Idaho residents near the proposed and existing rail routes affected by this proposal, I respectfully offer and request inclusion in the public record of these comments regarding the Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Project draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), during the public agency and citizen review period from November 24, 2015, until January 22, 2016 [1]. WIRT and associates collectively object to state permitting of the Tesoro Savage oil train terminal planned for the Port of Vancouver, Washington, which would impart myriad, significant risks and only marginal rewards for communities along the rail tracks and bridges, rivers, and lakes of Tesoro’s and Savage’s profitable thoroughfare to crude oil export.  In support of this official letter of resistance to Washington state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) approval of this application and resulting, destructive, implementation activities, we thoroughly concur with, contribute toward, and incorporate the concerns, oral testimony, and comments of all project opponents.

The Tesoro and Savage corporations intend to build the biggest crude-oil-by-rail terminal in the U.S. at the Port of Vancouver, potentially transferring an estimated 360,000 barrels per day of explosive Bakken shale oil and volatile Alberta diluted bitumen (tar sands) to tank farms across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, and to huge, ocean-going oil tankers shipping it to West Coast refineries and the world market [2]. Inevitable, disastrous, consequent oil spills into river, lake, or sea waters along rail and ocean routes, especially releases of thick tar sands oil that sinks to the bottom of waterways, would devastate local and regional waters and environments, fisheries, tribal lifeways, communities, and economies.

While moving enormous volumes of oil that ultimately impact our shared global climate, the Tesoro Savage facility would also increase the risk of fiery oil train accidents in countless communities along Northwest rail lines, from the Hi-Line around U.S. Highway 2 in Montana, to U.S. Highway 95 corridor towns from Bonners Ferry to Rathdrum in northern Idaho, to the dangerously elevated bridge and track funnels through the Sandpoint, Idaho area and downtown Spokane, Washington, to the Columbia River Gorge between eastern Oregon and Washington, to Vancouver [3, 4]. Every day, the huge oil terminal would bring four or more 100-car, mile-long trains toward the West Coast, hauling flammable cargo through climate-change-drying forests, increasingly dense cities, and ever more precious water bodies.  Public officials and emergency responders across the Northwest have raised concerns about the severe threats of oil train derailments, explosions, and pollution, as such incidents continually proliferate [5-7].

Many WIRT and allied group members who carpooled from Moscow and Sandpoint, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, participated in the regional community rally of terminal opponents and orally testified at the public hearing on the project’s DEIS, hosted by EFSEC on Thursday evening, January 14, 2016, in Spokane Valley, Washington [8-10]. These activists spoke against the Tesoro Savage proposal, the deficiencies of its DEIS findings, greater hazards imposed by this massive project of significant oil spills, air pollution, loaded train derailments, explosions, fires, and accidents causing numerous injuries and deaths, increased rail and waterway traffic of oil tankers, harm to federally protected salmonids and aquatic species, detrimental effects on tribal treaties, cultures, and resources, susceptibility of the facility to earthquakes, more and longer vehicle delays at railroad crossings, and overall exacerbation of climate change [11].  These myriad, significant, environmental, social, and human health harms cannot be fully mitigated by the project proponents or local, state, and federal agencies.  Moreover, the project DEIS does not even consider the predictable potential impacts of this oil terminal beyond Washington state. Continue reading

WIRT Newsletter: WIRT Meetings & Radio Show Time Change


As listed on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) Events Calendar, we have changed our first and third Thursday monthly meeting times, respectively in Moscow and Sandpoint, to Wednesdays, with the Sandpoint gathering place switched to Eichardt’s Pub [1]. During January through August 2016, we are converging for the WIRT First Wednesday Moscow Monthly Meeting at 7 pm on Wednesday evening (February 3) at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow.  The WIRT Third Wednesday Sandpoint Monthly Meeting also happens on Wednesday at 7 pm (this January 20) in the Eichardt’s Pub upstairs game room, 212 Cedar Street in Sandpoint.  WIRT and allied activists eagerly anticipate and heartily appreciate scheming and coordinating with you to organize public events, educational workshops, direct actions, and anti-fossil fuel campaigns!

We need your input at the table and on the ground! Please bring your friends, family, ideas, and energies to emerging plans for upcoming, frontline demonstrations of dirty energy resistance.  The meetings will talk about: Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Tesoro-Savage Oil Terminal Hearing Testimony 1-20-16


The Wednesday, January 20, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses oil and gas development and resistance in Idaho, the bankruptcy of a Powder River Basin coal mining and export facility proponent, the Delta 5 oil-by-rail blockader trial and verdict, and the recent Tesoro-Savage oil train terminal hearing in Spokane Valley, including recorded testimony.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Climate Trials, Oil Terminal Hearings, & Dropped Fossil Fuel Plans 1-11-16


The Monday, January 11, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses the Delta 5 oil-by-rail blockader trial, Tesoro-Savage oil train terminal hearings, a TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline lawsuit against the U.S. government, and dropped plans for a Payette River-side gas well, a Grays Harbor oil terminal, and Northwest coal and oil train traffic.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Vancouver Oil Terminal Hearing & Payette River Gas Well Victory 1-4-16


The Monday, January 4, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses an upcoming direct action training workshop, the Delta 5 oil-by-rail blockaders trial, hearings on the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil train terminal, a relinquished Payette River-side gas well permit, and lessons from the Black Lives Matter movement.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community resistance to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Tar Sands & Fracking Blockades, Idaho Gas Well Drilling & Monitoring 12-28-15


The Monday, December 28, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) shares news about recent Rising Tide actions against tar sands pipelines and fracking wells, southwest Idaho gas well drilling and monitoring, and fossil fuel infrastructure across the Northwest, following the Paris climate talks and revoked U.S. ban on crude oil exports.  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 covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Rising Tide Actions & Revoked Crude Oil Export Ban 12-21-15


The Monday, December 21, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) shares news about recent Rising Tide actions shutting down the Enbridge Line 9 tar sands pipeline in Ontario and a fracking well near a school in Pennsylvania and about the U.S. Congress and President revoking the four-decade ban on crude oil exports.  Broadcast tonight exactly on the Winter Solstice at 8:48 pm PST and every Monday between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online at progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.