Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests!


Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests Flyer

Marsing, Mountain Home, Bellevue, Arco, & Salmon, Idaho

Missoula & Montana Locations

December 18 & Beyond (Dates, Places, & Carpools TBA)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide will regularly update the tentative dates, times, places, and carpool arrangements of megaload protesting and monitoring activities on the WIRT website and facebook pages.  Please bring your family, friends, and neighbors, and come prepared with protest signs, banners, and equipment, musical instruments, voices, and chants, audio and video recorders, cameras, notepads, and your spirit of solidarity, regional resistance, and freedom of expression.

* Missoula planning meeting for megaload protesting and monitoring: Converge at 5 pm MST on Wednesday, December 18, at Liquid Planet, 223 North Higgins Avenue.

* Boise carpools to Marsing and Mountain Home: Contact Ann Ford of 350 Idaho at annkeenan4d@gmail.com or 208-344-4675.  Meet at the Shopko sign/parking lot at 2655 South Broadway Avenue, at 8 pm MST on Saturday, December 28, and Sunday, January 5, for Marsing carpools, and at 9 pm MST on Sunday, December 29, and Monday, January 6, for Mountain Home carpools.

* Marsing protest: Also meet at the Marsing Elementary/Middle School parking lot, 205 Eighth Avenue West, Highway 78, at 9 pm on Saturday, December 28, and Sunday, January 5.

* Mountain Home protest: Also meet at the Pilot Travel Center, 1050 Highway 20 at Interstate 84 Exit 95, at 10 pm MST on Sunday, December 29, and Monday, January 6.

* Wood River Valley/Timmerman Junction protest: Meet to carpool in the Atkinsons Market parking lot, 757 North Main Street in Bellevue, at 9 pm MST on Monday, December 30, and Tuesday, January 7, or at the Timmerman Junction rest area, on the southwest corner of the U.S. Highway 20 and Idaho Highway 75 intersection, at 10 pm MST on Monday, December 30, and Tuesday, January 7.

* Pocatello/Blackfoot area carpools to Arco: Contact Levi Shoemaker.  Meet at the Big Kmart sign/parking lot at 3945 Pole Line Road in Pocatello, at 8 pm MST on Monday, December 30, and Tuesday, January 7.

* Salmon protest: Meet at the Skate Park in Island Park, at 10 pm MST on Sunday, January 5, and Monday, January 20.

* Missoula protest: Meet at the Rosauers on Reserve Street, at 12 midnight on Tuesday/Wednesday, January 21-22, Wednesday/Thursday, January 22-23, and Thursday/Friday, January 23-24.

* Spokane carpools to Missoula and Montana protesting and monitoring actions as early as Tuesday, January 21: Contact Terry Hill of Spokane Rising Tide.  Montana activists have arranged lodging for participants visiting Missoula.

* Megaload monitoring at various locations: Contact WIRT at 208-301-8039 and wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com.

* Contributions for organizer, monitor, and protester travel and potential legal expenses: Donate through WePay and via mail to P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, ID 83843.

As the tenth Omega Morgan-hauled regional tar sands transport barrels through the wilds of eastern Oregon in the wake of Umatilla and Pendleton direct actions, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists have vowed in several media outlets to confront this purveyor of ecocide, genocide, and climate chaos in southern Idaho [1, 2, 3, 4].  A WIRT interview and several videos of Idaho and Oregon demonstrations and megaloads appeared on Boise television on Tuesday night, declaring upcoming resistance and encouraging southern Idaho residents to protest when the WIRT call to action arises.  Although everyone except a few dozen protesters and three media outlets seemed to overlook the last similar evaporator core that traversed northern Idaho on November 10-13, the region has bestowed a frenzy of media attention on, and climate and tribal activists are mobilizing against, this first of purportedly three Portland-made, extra-massive shipments departing the Port of Umatilla, Oregon.

After winter weather somewhat improved on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the heaviest (901,000 pounds) and longest (376 feet) piece of tar sands equipment to cross the Northwest started moving again from its Pendleton parking spot through eastern Oregon [5, 6, 7, 8].  Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) members held nightly load-side ceremonies since its launch and monitored its onslaughts of their ceded territories and homelands [9, 10].  In its efforts to expand Alberta tar sands exploitation, the fossil fuel industry and its remaining seven entire or dismantled evaporators that originally attempted Highway 12 passage can expect strong resistance on their Idaho and Montana trek.  Meanwhile, southern Idaho industry apologists berate protesters with the same tired litany about dirty energy necessity, activist fossil fuel use, “domestic” energy independence, and mis-attributed NIMBY motivations for dissent [11, 12].  Local Oregon journalists at least honored activist passion if not practices [13].

The results of recent public records requests have revealed that Omega Morgan and other extreme energy development facilitators are obviously exploring, developing, and establishing new industrial corridors for infrastructure to move not just to tar sands operations in Canada but to fracked natural gas fields in Wyoming and the tar sands deposits in Utah that may harbor seven times more recoverable oil than in Alberta.  If the dirty energy industry continues at its reckless pace, shipping companies and oil corporations will threaten remote, rural, Northwest communities with a nightmarish future composed of oversize transports, mining operations, pipeline networks, export terminals, and disposal sites.  Most of this fossil fuel infrastructure significantly invades and threatens tribal territories, treaty rights, and indigenous sovereignty, with little or no government-to-government consultation [14].

But with every megaload passage, coal, oil, and gas spill or explosion, public hearing testimony, and frontline action and report, the cogs of the dirty energy machine struggle to turn, as powerful resistance to the fossil fuel agenda  grows among settler residents and indigenous nations of Turtle Island (North America).  More people every day become aware of environmental destruction and display willingness to take direct action, as part of the critical mass of physical confrontations necessary to malign, stall, cost, and eventually shut down tar sands facilities in Alberta.  Over the last few weeks, 350 Corvallis, Eugene, and Idaho, All Against The Haul, Blue Skies Campaign, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla and Warm Springs Reservations, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, Montana Indian Peoples Action, Northern Rockies Rising Tide, Portland Rising Tide, Rising Tide Seattle, Spokane Rising Tide, and WIRT have been organizing direct and solidarity, megaload protests in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana [15].

On the morning of December 12, a boisterous crowd of Portland area activists burst into a quickly dispersed Omega Morgan meeting at its Hillsboro, Oregon, headquarters, with chants, banners, a recited letter, and demands to meet with the CEO, all challenging the company’s role in tar sands extraction via megaload transportation [16].  Police soon closed in and outnumbered the protesters [17].  That afternoon, about a dozen Rising Tide Seattle climate justice activists visited the Bellevue offices of evaporator core owner Resources Conservation Company International, a subsidiary of General Electric, to protest its eastern Oregon megaload [18].  The group had previously staged a solidarity action for Port of Umatilla megaload blockaders, at Omega Morgan offices in Fife, Washington [19, 20].

Wild Idaho Rising Tide is especially excited about and eager to organize this coordinated regional resistance, after feeling fairly alone on the frontlines of megaload incursions for a few years.  Oregon and Washington, Missoula, Moscow,  and Spokane activists are planning to participate in ongoing Oregon actions as well as resident-based protests of the approaching tar sands megaload in or near Marsing, Mountain Home, Bellevue, and Salmon, Idaho, and in Missoula and other Montana communities.  For now, we await the results of our colleagues’ and our public records requests for Omega Morgan travel plans, permits, schematics, and communication with state agencies, sent to the Idaho Transportation Department and the Montana Department of Transportation, which could assist planning, protesting, monitoring, and litigating efforts that expose transport snafus.

Previous WIRT calls to action, with embedded news stories and maps, outline the Idaho megaload route, while a Missoulian article last week verifies the Montana megaload route [21, 22, 23].  The Idaho Transportation Department has released to local governments the shipment route and traffic-clearing turnouts of the colossal rig expected to receive a five-day permit on Friday, to arrive in Homedale, Idaho, on Saturday, and to travel during the daytime on some remote sections of its primarily nighttime, 476-mile trip through Idaho [24].  Omega Morgan anticipates lugging two similar behemoths across the region in January, but has declined to state how many more megaloads it could carry on the route next year.  County commissioners, city officials, and residents of Blaine and Lemhi counties have expressed frustration and concerns about megaload-imposed public safety threats, traveler inconvenience, highway and bridge blockage, traffic and emergency vehicle delays, possible road damage, hazardous substances, and gaps in public information and notice [25, 26].

Please remain alert to regional opportunities to together organize and rally strong protest participation in eastern Oregon, southern Idaho, Missoula and elsewhere in Montana.  WIRT and allies will announce the exact time and place of Boise area and other Idaho and Montana carpools and demonstration sites within the next few days.  Please contact WIRT directly via phone, facebook, or email, to share your ideas, assistance, and leadership in planning megaload resistance, and urge family, friends, and co-workers to participate in these historic events.  Profusely print and post the attached, color, letter-sized Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests Flyer, and complete these three urgent actions, considering the following WIRT and allies’ talking points:

1) Call Omega Morgan CEO John McCalla at 503-647-7474 with this message instigated by Rising Tide North America: “I oppose tar sands mining, and I want you to stop shipping equipment to process it.”  See this link for call prompts [27].

2) Tell the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) to not grant special travel permits to Omega Morgan, to transport its megaload now moving through Oregon:

* Due to winter conditions and the load’s size, it is not likely to meet Idaho’s 15-minute rule or Montana’s 10-minute rule for mandated traffic delay limits of oversize load transport permits.

* Travel delays caused by this overlegal load could prevent Idaho and Montana citizens from accessing critical emergency services.

* ITD and MDT should conduct detailed environmental analyses and allow members of the public to comment, before they consider issuing permits to Omega Morgan.

Montana Environmental Information Center Talking Points:

This megaload would facilitate the most environmentally destructive project on earth, Alberta tar sands development, at its destination.  Tar sands extraction has contaminated drinking water, increased cancer rates in nearby communities, destroyed thousands of acres of boreal forest and bogs, and accelerated global climate disruption.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that further tar sands exploitation could add 24 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, equivalent to the annual emissions of seven coal-fired power plants.

The travel route for this megaload includes many dangerous two-lane highways that become treacherous during snowy and icy conditions.  Since the load arrived at the Port of Umatilla, Oregon, it has traveled much slower than expected, due to snowfall and bitter cold: a little over one hundred miles in three nights!

Fighting Goliath Talking Points:

Idaho and Montana citizens do not want to subsidize General Electric, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, or any other of the planet’s richest corporations that seek to transport megaloads through our states.  Megaload permit fees do not cover the costs of ITD’s and MDT’s road and bridge analyses, transport monitoring, and additional administrative and on-the-road preparation for megaload transports.  Citizens also do not want to bear the cost of the ongoing training and vehicle maintenance of our state police force, which these corporations hire as private transport security guards.

ITD Contact Page

MDT Comment/Request Form

3) Watch for WIRT and allies’ protest alerts over coming days and weeks, and write letters to regional media outlet editors based on our web pages containing Megaload Facts talking points and a Speak Out! press contact list [28, 29].  Please contribute much-needed funding to WIRT soon, to cover our outreach, protest, and monitor travel expenses [30].

Thanks for all that you do to participate in and support this resistance, comrades!

[1] Megaload Shipment Poised to Enter Southern Idaho (December 10 KBOI TV Boise)

[2] Giant Heat Exchanger Will Soon Pass through Idaho (December 10 Idaho Press-Tribune)

[3] Over the River and Through the Woods (December 11 Boise Weekly)

[4] Megaload Inching Closer to Idaho (December 13 Idaho Mountain Express)

[5] Megaload Watch: Ready to Roll Again (December 10 Blue Mountain Eagle)

[6] Megaload Marches South (December 10 East Oregonian)

[7] Megaload Makes Ukiah (December 11 East Oregonian)

[8] Megaload Reaches Dale, May Stay Until Friday Night (December 12 Blue Mountain Eagle)

[9] Press Release: From Yellowbird Lives in the Heartland of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Upholding the Treaty of 1855 (December 11 Last Real Indians)

[10] Elders Rise Up to Speak on Megaloads at CTUIR Walla Walla Chief Carl Sampson and Cayuse Nez Perce Elder Art McConville (December 10 Shana Radford video)

[11] Our View: The Hypocrisy of Megaload Protests (December 6 Twin Falls Times-News)

[12] Words of Advice to ‘Megaload’ Protesters (December 12 Idaho Press-Tribune)

[13] A Place for Civil Disobedience (December 6 East Oregonian)

[14] Megaload Update: Umatilla Show Solidarity Against Tar Sands (December 11 Earth First! Newswire)

[15] Mega-Slow Omega Load Still in Oregon, Take Action Now! (December 9 Northern Rockies Rising Tide)

[16] Breaking: Standoff Between Climate Justice Activists and Cops in Lobby of Omega Morgan Building (December 12 Earth First! Newswire)

[17] Update: No Arrests After Climate Activists Crash Omega Morgan Meeting (December 12 Earth First! Newswire)

[18] Another Stalled Piece of Multi-Ton Equipment – This One Headed for the Alberta Tar Sands (December 12 Stranger)

[19] Rising Tide Seattle Solidarity Action Against Omega Morgan (December 3 Earth First! Newswire)

[20] Omega Morgan – MegaLoads to Canada (December 10 RainDagger Productions video)

[21] Stop the Tar Sands Megaloads in Oregon! (November 29 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[22] A New, Circuitous Route for Controversial Megaload (December 4 Idaho Statesman)

[23] Montana Considers Permit for 450-Ton Megaload (December 4 Missoulian)

[24] ITD: Megaload in Homedale Probably Saturday (December 12 Owyhee Avalanche)

[25] Megaload Will Pass through Blaine County (December 6 Idaho Mountain Express)

[26] Megaload Hauler Wants Permit to Cut through State (December 6 Post Register)

[27] Call Omega Morgan CEO John McCalla! (December 9 Rising Tide North America)

[28] Megaload Facts (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[29] Speak Out! (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[30] Donate to Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WePay)

7 thoughts on “Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests!

  1. Pingback: Winter’s Barricades: The Fight Against Fracking and Tar Sands | Seattle Free Press

  2. Pingback: Winter’s Barricades: The Fight Against Fracking and Tar Sands | Free UniversE-ity

  3. Pingback: Wild Idaho RT: Tar Sands Megaload Resistance Solidarity - Rising Tide North America

  4. Pingback: Tar Sands Megaload Resistance Solidarity | Wild Idaho Rising Tide

  5. Pingback: WIRT Newsletter: Friday Southern Idaho Protest, First Oregon Megaload Travails | Wild Idaho Rising Tide

  6. Pingback: WIRT Newsletter: Megaload Calls to Action on Tuesday in Moscow, Missoula, & Beyond | Wild Idaho Rising Tide

  7. Pingback: Round 3: Idaho & Montana Tar Sands Megaload Protests! | Wild Idaho Rising Tide

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