On Monday, February 20, in Salt Lake City, Canyon Country Rising Tide and Utah Tar Sands Resistance helped stage the culminating demonstration of the 2012 Earth First! Organizers Conference and Winter Rendezvous. Along with Wild Idaho Rising Tide and Northern Rockies Earth First! organizer Greg ‘Crusty’ Mack, about three dozen of our fellow tar sands opponents protested at the downtown offices of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) with signs, banners, makeshift drums, and musical instruments, to voice their outrage over the first already permitted bitumen mining in the nation. U.S. Oil Sands has leased education trust lands in the Bookcliffs area of eastern Utah, near Arches and Canyonlands national parks, to dig up 213 acres and build and run a 3,500-tons-per-day ore processing facility. Although the proposed project would require a $1.7 million reclamation bond in advance, its massive water usage, toxic chemicals, and unlined wastewater pits would threaten PR Springs and set a precedent for tar sands extraction and production in five western states. Greg “explained that dollars can out duel environmental ethics when it comes to such proposals. ‘I think like anywhere, here in Utah, people like to turn a blind eye to the destruction and just think about the money.’” Please view this grassroots video and description of this issue and recent resistance. Also peruse the Deseret News article Tar Sands Protesters Rally Today against Utah Project.
(From WIRT Newsletter)
On Friday, February 24, Scott Parkin of Rising Tide North America (whom we hosted on our Climate Justice Forum show last week) published the article Tar Sands and Its Discontents in the online journal of “dispatches from the youth climate movement,” It’s Getting Hot in Here. Scott opens his piece by asking readers, “Besides the story of the massive campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, do you know about the other battles going on around the U.S. to stop the tar sands?” He then relates Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s (WIRT) numerous rowdy protests, civil disobedience, citizen journalism, and megaload monitoring since last summer in our small town and reveals that, “Now only a few megaloads remain, and WIRT is organizing final actions to challenge Exxon’s supremacy.” His article also references our Rising Tide colleagues’ work to stop tar sands development “in the red rocked canyons of southern Utah” (please see Utah Tar Sands) as well as Maine opposition to a proposed pipeline flow reversal, which could bring Canadian tar sands to the rocky coast, and unrest throughout the country, where “Big Oil has been modifying and building facilities solely for tar sands refining.” Scott’s conclusion offers confirmation that WIRT’s actions stand at the forefront of long-overdue rebellions “of die-hard anti-tar sands fighters” against this industry’s “money, corrupt politicians, and institutional power and influence,” with “uprisings against powerful oil interests [not] that far off.”
Please read the rest at: Tar Sands and Its Discontents.
(From WIRT Newsletter)