WIRT Meetings, Comments on Keystone XL Pipeline


NOVEMBER & DECEMBER WIRT MEETINGS

Volunteer, grassroots, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) organizers invite and appreciate your assistance in arranging upcoming presentations, training workshops, demonstrations, outreach, and #No2ndBridge litigation.  We urge you to participate in November and December 2019, potluck, WIRT gatherings, enjoy climate action documentaries, talk about tactics and strategies, and offer your unique advice and assistance, as we together relentlessly confront the fossil fuel causes of climate change, through direct resistance and frontline solutions.  The WIRT climate activist collective welcomes opportunities to talk with you about critical issues, and to share images, dispatches, and actions with the regional, environmental and indigenous community, while we continue our opposition and vigil on the north Idaho, fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails, and #No2ndBridge frontline.

Join activity-planning conversations on the first and third Thursdays (now instead of Wednesdays) of every month, starting at 6 pm (not the usual 7 pm) on Thursday, November 21 and December 19, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, and on Thursday, December 5, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow [1].  Meanwhile, please check WIRT website and especially facebook pages for posts and pictures, and listen to WIRT’s weekly, Climate Justice Forum radio program, for updates about ongoing, recent, and emerging, Northwest and continent-wide, fossil fuel infrastructure invasions and protests, and share this information among your associates and contacts.

COMMENT ON KEYSTONE XL BY NOVEMBER 18

As activists in Montana, the Great Plains, and around the U.S. continue resistance in the courts and on the land, fossil fuel billionaires and their federal government cronies push for construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline.  On October 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of State released the project’s new, draft, supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) [2].  Instead of an open, public hearing, the agency held a restrictive, October 29 meeting that only accepted comments via computers or stenographers in isolated rooms, at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center in Montana [3].  A few hundred people attended, and concerned groups hosted a cold rally in a fenced-off “free speech zone” outside the center, with speakers from the Fort Berthold and Fort Peck reservations and BOLD Nebraska, to provide opportunities to hear from communities impacted by the controversial project that threatens water quality, land rights, and climate health across the region.  On the same day as the nation’s only public meeting on the draft SEIS, someone discovered that the previously built Keystone pipeline leaked about 383,000 gallons of tar sands oil in northeastern North Dakota [4].  How many other pipeline spills have gone undetected and unreported, especially in rural and remote locations?

The final SEIS could guide future permitting decisions by the Bureau of Land Management and especially the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for a Clean Water Act section 408 permit, required for the KXL crossing of the Missouri River, located dangerously underneath the Fort Peck Dam spillway, subjecting the buried pipeline to immense volumes and velocities of water discharge and its scour erosion of the riverbed, which could expose it and cause leaks [5-7].  Drinking and agricultural water intake facilities for the 30,000 people of the Fort Peck reservation and northeastern Montana communities lie immediately downstream.  But the State Department’s draft SEIS continues to downplay these and other risks and disruptions to healthy and stable, regional watersheds and global climate.

Please protect the Earth’s precious water and air from the Keystone XL pipeline, by requesting a 90-day, public comment period extension and additional public hearings on this proposal with such immense significance and scope, and by sending your written comments on the draft SEIS to the State Department by 9 pm PST on Monday, November 18.  Pipeline industry groups, unions, and companies have apparently strongly recommended that their members and employees submit pro-pipeline comments.  So raise your voice for the Earth, through this potentially last opportunity to oppose KXL through “the system.”  Montana colleagues Northern Plains Resource Council and 350 Montana have identified problems with this current analysis that does not properly evaluate KXL risks to rivers and climate.  They offer detailed suggestions and guides to help inform your comments [5-7] that we hope you post through the Regulations.gov federal website [2].  Thanks!

MONTANA KXL LAWSUITS

In March 2017, Calgary-based oil and gas developer TransCanada (now TC Energy) had not yet made a final investment decision on the controversial, 1180-mile, $8 billion, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska.  Nonetheless, U.S. President Trump reversed former President Obama’s 2015 refusal to issue a federal permit for the pipeline desperately needed by Canadian oil producers.  Indigenous Environmental Network, North Coast Rivers Alliance, Northern Plains Resource Council, and other environmental group plaintiffs immediately filed cases in a Great Falls, Montana, federal court, and have successfully challenged the U.S. State Department’s outdated, inadequate, environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed KXL, rejecting EIS flaws, exclusion of climate, water, and other threats, preparers’ conflicts of interest, and the Canada-U.S. cross-border permit [8, 9]. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: BC Indigenous Land Protection, Idaho Oil & Gas Resistance, Trans Mountain Port Blockade, DAPL Expansion Hearing, Keystone XL Comments 11-13-19


The Wednesday, November 13, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a documentary about Wet’suwet’en Nation decolonization and protection of unceded, indigenous lands in British Columbia, from Canadian government and fossil fuels corporations invasions.  We also share news and reflections on opposition to bankrupt Idaho oil and gas extraction, forced pooling, production under-reporting, and waste injection wells, a Trans Mountain pipe blockade at the Washington Port of Vancouver, Lake Pend Oreille railroad bridge expansion impacts on record-breaking trout catches, a San Diego train derailment bridge collision, a Dakota Access pipeline expansion hearing in North Dakota, and Keystone XL pipeline comment suggestions.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and later podcast on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Trans Mountain Pipe Ship Blockade, Paradise Ridge Defense Updates, Sandpoint Rail Bridge Resistance, Spokane Area Train Accidents, Keystone Pipelines Leak & Comments 11-6-19


The Wednesday, November 6, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a livestream recording of activists blockading Trans Mountain pipe shipments on the Columbia River near Portland-Vancouver, and news and reflections on the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition annual meeting and updates, a City of Sandpoint letter and local resistance to north Idaho railroad bridge and track expansion, Spokane area train accidents and spills, a Keystone tar sands pipeline leak in North Dakota, and proposed Keystone XL pipeline problems and comment suggestions.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

PRDC, WIRT, & Sandpoint Council Meetings, #No2ndBridge Updates, Regional Railroad Snafus


PRDC ANNUAL MEETING

Join Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) members and the current board at the annual, membership meeting on Wednesday, November 6, at the Yellow House next to the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 East Second Street, near Van Buren Street in Moscow, Idaho. Please visit anytime between 5 and 7:30 pm, to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks, talk with and vote on the board of directors for the coming year, continue support with $5 annual dues and greater donations, and learn and ask questions about the PRDC campaign against the Idaho Transportation Department’s plan for relocation and four-lane expansion of U.S. Highway 95 over the shoulder of Paradise Ridge (alternative E-2, which is not a “done deal”).  As an organizational member of PRDC, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) encourages you to see the PRDC website and attached event flyer for further information, contact PRDC if you are interested in serving on the board (secretary@paradise-ridge-defense.org or 208-301-0202), attend this worthwhile gathering, and send tax-deductible contributions to this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization at P.O. Box 8804, Moscow, ID 83843 [1].  We hope to see you at PRDC’s annual, membership meeting!

SANDPOINT LETTER TO COAST GUARD

The City of Sandpoint is drafting a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), requesting an environmental impact statement (EIS) and reconsideration of USCG’s September 5, 2019, final environmental assessment (EA) and appendices and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s Sandpoint Junction Connector Project — proposed construction of two permanent, parallel, rail bridges and two temporary, work spans across Lake Pend Oreille and Sand Creek, during three to five years. This lead, federal agency regulating the project that would also build a second rail structure over Bridge Street has provided neither an administrative appeal process nor an optional, 30-day, public comment period for its final decision.  As offered by WIRT and requested by the Sandpoint city clerk in early October, we compiled information and supplied documents and recommendations, to support the formal, but only symbolic, city letter for the Coast Guard record [2, 3].

In response to our October 31 inquiry ascertaining progress on the proposed letter and the Sandpoint City Council resolution adopting it, the city clerk graciously sent to us both files and the city’s March 2019 comments to the Coast Guard and May 2018 resolution requesting an EIS, which would accompany the city’s correspondence with USCG [4]. Please show your appreciation of city officials and staff upholding their constituents’ interests, by attending and encouraging your associates to participate in upcoming, regular, council sessions considering the BNSF EIS/EA issue, between 5:30 and 7:30 pm on Wednesdays, November 6 and 20, in Sandpoint City Hall council chambers at 1123 Lake Street.  Also see the meeting agendas and watch the recorded, video livestream of council and public deliberations [5].

NOVEMBER WIRT MEETINGS

While under siege by reckless development and resister repression, volunteer, grassroots, WIRT organizers would greatly appreciate your efforts in arranging upcoming presentations, training workshops, demonstrations, outreach, and #No2ndBridge litigation. We urge you to participate in November 2019, potluck gatherings, enjoy climate action documentaries, talk about tactics and strategies, and offer your unique advice and assistance, as we together relentlessly confront the fossil fuel causes of climate change, through direct resistance and frontline solutions.  The WIRT, climate activist collective welcomes opportunities to talk with you about critical issues, and to share images, dispatches, and actions with the regional, environmental, and indigenous community, while we continue our grueling opposition and vigil on the north Idaho, fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails, and #No2ndBridge frontline.

Join activity-planning conversations on the first and third Thursdays (now instead of Wednesdays) of every month, starting at 6 pm (not the usual 7 pm) on Thursday, November 7, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, and on Thursday, November 21, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint [3]. Meanwhile, please check WIRT website and especially facebook pages for posts and pictures, and listen to WIRT’s weekly, Climate Justice Forum radio program, for updates about recent, ongoing, and emerging, Northwest and continent-wide, fossil fuel infrastructure invasions and protests, and share this information among your associates and contacts.

#NO2NDBRIDGE UPDATES

Attorney Search

WIRT has been talking with allies, attorneys, and government officials about BNSF’s Sandpoint Junction Connector Project document and process discrepancies, and determining whether the Coast Guard’s final EA and FONSI sufficiently comply with relevant laws. Meanwhile, we have been witnessing massive, ongoing construction without all permits for BNSF’s bridge and track expansion, enduring noise- and dust-spewing, downtown Sandpoint, street reconstruction outside the WIRT office, dismissing criminalization attempts by released, federal investigation files and international media articles, and observing and reporting water-polluting, disaster-risking, westbound, BNSF, unit trains of coal and black tanker (presumably oil) trains, for the #IDoiltrainwatch and #WAoiltrainwatch, all while continuing regional outreach via various modes, to WIRT’s 3,200-plus contacts and beyond [3]. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Barbara Miller on Silver Valley Superfund Lead Cleanup & Clinics, Idaho Rail Bridge Challenges, Spokane Area Train Leak & Fire, Portland Oil Terminal Rejection, Jordan Cove LNG Permit, Montana Keystone XL Meeting, Alaska Native Climate Emergency 10-30-19


The Wednesday, October 30, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features Barbara Miller of the Silver Valley Community Resource Center talking about failed cleanup and lead health intervention, resident solutions, and public involvement at the Bunker Hill Superfund site.  We also cover news and reflections on north Idaho rail bridge expansion legal challenges, a Spokane area train leak and locomotive fire, Portland oil terminal pipes permit rejection, an Oregon city permit for the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export facility, a Montana rally and State Department meeting on the Keystone XL pipeline, and an Alaska Native Federation climate change emergency resolution.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Indigenous Peoples Day at Idaho Capitol, Vancouver Pipe Train Blockade, Trans Mountain Pipeline Resistance, Canadian Climate Crisis Election, Anacortes Refinery Expansion Ruling, Fuel Tank Farm Earthquake Risks & Fire 10-23-19


The Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a recording of the first, state-recognized, Indigenous Peoples Day ceremony at the Idaho Capitol in Boise, and news and reflections on a Vancouver, Washington, train track blockade and British Columbia indigenous resistance to the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, climate crisis effects on the Canadian national election, a court victory over Anacortes refinery expansion, and fuel tank farm earthquake risks in North Portland and explosive fires in the Bay Area.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Sandpoint Meetings, Lake Railroad Pollution, Bridges Resistance, & Construction


October 17: Sandpoint WIRT Meeting

Thanks to everyone who visited and contributed donations during rare, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), Moscow, outreach tabling at Farmers Market on Friendship Square on Saturday, October 5, and to a Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC) member who met with WIRT on Sunday, October 6 [1, 2].  Despite a grueling, September and October 2019, continuing WIRT’s opposition and vigil on the north Idaho, fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails, and #No2ndBridge frontline, our climate activist collective welcomes opportunities to talk with all about critical issues, and to share images, dispatches, and actions with the regional, environmental, and indigenous community [3].

While under siege by reckless development and resister repression, volunteer, grassroots, WIRT organizers would greatly appreciate your efforts in arranging upcoming presentations, training workshops, demonstrations, and #No2ndBridge litigation.  So we encourage you to participate in October and November 2019, potluck gatherings, enjoy climate action documentaries, talk about tactics and strategies, and offer your unique advice and assistance, as we together relentlessly confront the fossil fuel causes of climate change, through direct resistance and frontline solutions.  Join activity-planning conversations on the first and third Thursdays (now instead of Wednesdays) of every month, starting at 6 pm (not the usual 7 pm) on Thursday, October 17, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, and on Thursday, November 7, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow.

Meanwhile, please check WIRT website and especially facebook pages for posts and pictures, and listen to WIRT’s weekly, Climate Justice Forum radio program for updates about recent, ongoing, and emerging, Northwest and continent-wide, fossil fuel infrastructure invasions and protests, and share this information among your associates and contacts [4].  We are talking with allies, attorneys, and government officials about Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway’s bridge and track expansion document deficiencies, while we witness massive tree clearing and bulldozing without all permits for BNSF’s Sandpoint Junction Connector project, endure noise- and dust-spewing, downtown Sandpoint, street reconstruction outside the WIRT office, dismiss criminalization attempts by released, federal investigation files and mainstream media articles, and observe and report water-polluting, disaster-risking, westbound, BNSF, unit trains of coal and black tanker (presumably oil) trains, for the #IDoiltrainwatch and #WAoiltrainwatch [5].

September 27 to 29: Storm-Borne Lake Coal Dust Continue reading

Weekend, WIRT & Allied Events


Regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully requests your participation in these weekend events and ongoing issues.

Friday & Saturday, October 4-5: Moscow WIRT Meeting & Tabling

Volunteer, grassroots, WIRT organizers would greatly appreciate your help in arranging upcoming presentations, training workshops, demonstrations, and #No2ndBridge litigation, and reaching out to allies, attorneys, and our regional network.  So we encourage you to participate in October potluck gatherings, enjoy climate action documentaries, talk about tactics and strategies, and offer your unique advice and assistance, as we together relentlessly confront the fossil fuel causes of climate change, through direct resistance and frontline solutions.  Starting in October 2019, we are meeting on the first and third Thursday (instead of Wednesday) of every month, except this week on Friday in Moscow.  Activity-planning conversations begin at 6 pm (not the usual 7 pm) on Friday, October 4, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, and on Thursday, October 17, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint.

We also hope to talk with you about critical issues, at the Farmers Market outreach tables hosted by Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC) and WIRT, at Friendship Square in Moscow on Saturday, October 5, and near Farmin Park in Sandpoint throughout the rest of the season.  Please check WIRT website and especially facebook pages for posts since September 21, on recent and ongoing, regional, climate strikes and #No2ndBridge protests, and share this information among your associates and contacts [1, 2].  We anticipate forthcoming, WIRT newsletters on railroad bridge expansion document deficiencies, Treasure Valley oil and gas hearings, lawsuits, and driller bankruptcy, and released, federal investigation files on local, fossil fuels opponents.

Sunday, October 6: A Vigil for the Healing of the Earth

The Silver Valley Community Resource Center and tribal and faith leaders, social/environmental justice groups, and elected officials of eastern Washington and north Idaho invite everyone to a gathering from 3 to 5 pm on Sunday, October 6, at Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park, 31732 South Mission Road, at Exit 39 off Interstate 90 in Cataldo, Idaho.  Thousands of regional residents have voiced opposition to the toxic waste site at the Old Mission at Cataldo.  Many concerned citizens within the Bunker Hill Superfund site support establishment of a community lead health clinic, with a portion of multi-million-dollar, settlement funds, for reparation of generations of families living with health conditions imposed by a mining legacy of lead pollution.  See the attached flyer for further event information, and join us in protecting the future of Silver Valley children, community, environment, and economic development. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Rod Munroe on Coal Plant Protest, Idaho Governor Conflicts, Oil & Gas Leases, Coal Train Pollution, & Bridges EIS Request, Indigenous Capitol Occupation 10-2-19


The Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a conversation with Rod Munroe of Green Mountain Rising, about protests outside New England’s largest coal power plant, and news and reflections on upcoming and recent, community events, Idaho governor conflicts of interest, a Sandpoint City Council letter requesting stronger environmental review of rail bridges expanding coal pollution, Idaho landowner uncertainty about a bankrupt oil and gas company, and anti-fossil fuels, indigenous occupation of Washington Capitol grounds.  Broadcast for seven years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM, online, and podcast afterward on Radio Free America, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Governor in Rathdrum, Sandpoint Council Meeting & Rail Bridge Permit, Climate Strike Report


Among numerous, ongoing, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), facebook and website posts, please review these opportunities for information and participation in regional, #No2ndBridge, and anti-fossil fuels campaigns, especially events described in the first two items, happening on Thursday, September 26, in Rathdrum and Sandpoint.

Idaho Governor Brad Little and his administration are hosting “Capital for a Day” in Rathdrum, from 10 am to 3 pm on Thursday, September 26, offering chances to talk about the governor’s conflicts between his climate change and fossil fuels interests, evident in his Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, Sandpoint Junction Connector project support and Treasure Valley oil and gas leases [1].

At a special meeting at 5:45 pm on Thursday, September 26, the Sandpoint City Council will consider its response to the September 5, U.S. Coast Guard denial of the council’s May 2018 resolution strongly requesting a full environmental impact statement (EIS) for BNSF Railway’s proposed, Lake Pend Oreille area, bridge and track expansion [2].

This week, WIRT initiated an inquiry into City of Sandpoint and Bonner County permitting of BNSF’s planned, second, Bridge Street, Sand Creek (granted), and Lake Pend Oreille railroad bridges [3].

Besides a dual event announcement, WIRT’s last email alert now includes a website-posted synopsis of #No2ndBridge updates since the Coast Guard’s disastrous decision to approve BNSF’s fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails bridge expansion [4].

Thanks to the one hundred-plus people who participated in the Lake Communities Climate Strike and BNSF Bridges Coast Guard EA Protest on Saturday, September 21, which WIRT board members depict with a description and photos from the north Idaho, fossil fuels frontline [5].

At 1 am on Friday, September 20, only 25 miles south and 36 hours before the Sandpoint climate strike and #No2ndBridge march, north Idaho lost another life in an Amtrak train and Athol pickup truck collision, explained in local and national newspaper articles [6]. Continue reading