November 17-18 GTN Xpress Action, WIRT Talk, & FEIS Release

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Stop GTN Xpress Phone ZapGTN Xpress & Idaho & Northwest Stakeholders

Canadian energy company TC Energy (formerly TransCanada), owner of the notorious Keystone and Keystone XL tar sands pipelines and the Coastal GasLink line under contested construction through unceded, indigenous, Wet’suwet’en territories in British Columbia (B.C.), has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to increase the “natural” gas pipeline volumes and pressures of three compressor stations along its Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline, with the GTN Xpress expansion project from B.C. through north Idaho, eastern Washington, and central Oregon.  The 61-year-old, potentially explosive GTN pipeline passes under Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s (WIRT) fossil fuels pipeline-on-rails frontline community and waters around Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, through several rural sacrifice zones, and below the Spokane, Washington, metropolitan area.  One of the GTN compressor stations planned for upgrades stands near dozens of unaware residences and a popular amusement park full of hundreds of visitors in Athol, Idaho [1].

TC Energy and partner fossil fuel corporations propose to increase the capacity for dangerous methane gas in the existing, 1,354-mile GTN pipeline by 150 million cubic feet per day, pushing more gas into the Northwest and locking communities into expensive fossil fuel energy for decades.  If approved by FERC, the GTN Xpress expansion would cause continued fracking in tribal lands in Canada and threaten and harm the health and safety of rural, low-income communities living and working along the pipeline route.  Prone to accidents like leaks, fires, and explosions, the aging infrastructure of pipelines and compressor stations risks exposing nearby residents to cancer-causing pollutants.

Over the last few decades, Northwest citizens have defeated fossil fuels pipelines, processing plants, and export terminals, and organized to pass local and state climate laws, while experiencing record droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, and other climate change impacts.  But sneakier pipeline expansions require different government processes and regulations than new pipeline construction, even though GTN Xpress would exacerbate the greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the climate crisis contributing to these conditions.  Supplying enough gas to serve 1.2 million households each day, GTN Xpress would contradict Oregon and Washington state policy commitments to reduce climate pollution and end dependence on climate-wrecking fossil fuels.

During summer 2022, over 1,300 people petitioned FERC to deny TC Energy’s plans; Columbia River tribes voiced their resistance; a broad, emerging coalition of Northwest community groups commented against the project; and the attorneys general of California, Oregon, and Washington told FERC that they oppose GTN Xpress, because it clearly conflicts with state and federal climate goals.  With FERC expected to release the scheme’s final environmental impact statement (EIS) on November 18, 2022, and to issue an ultimate decision in February 2023, Northwesterners need to hold FERC accountable, ask that the agency address valid climate, public health, and environmental concerns raised across the region, and demand that FERC reject the GTN Xpress project.

Since April 2022, the WIRT climate activist collective has been informing, networking, and supporting impacted, indigenous, and grassroots groups and individuals and state, county, and city, elected and agency officials about GTN Xpress, along the north Idaho and eastern Washington GTN pipeline corridor and in southern Idaho, where Intermountain Gas customers would receive over half of the additional GTN Xpress methane gas from a Stanfield, Oregon, compressor station diversion.  We have provided extensive comments to FERC on behalf of WIRT’s 3,200-plus contacts, and communicated and urged opposition to the GTN Xpress gas pipeline expansion via social media, email, website, and other online resources, and through WIRT’s weekly, eleven-years-broadcast, community radio program [2].  WIRT plans to continue to raise resistance to this Canadian stranded gas asset invasion of the Northwest, by encouraging citizen involvement in public processes and alternative methods of GTN Xpress rejection.

Stop GTN Xpress Week of Actions Report Continue reading

Stop GTN Xpress Week of Actions

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Stop GTN Xpress Week of Actions FlyerRegional organizations and grassroots activists of 350 Spokane, Idaho Chapter Sierra Club, Palouse Extinction Rebellion, Rogue Climate, Veterans for Peace Spokane Chapter 35, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) request your participation and support of public protests of three corporations pushing the dangerous Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Xpress pipeline expansion project.  We are collectively co-hosting these actions in solidarity with sovereign Wet’suwet’en land defenders and water protectors opposing Coastal GasLink pipeline construction through their unceded, indigenous territories in British Columbia, Canada.  Allied groups are planning peaceful, safe, and effective citizen pickets on nearby public walkways outside fossil fuel company offices during early November, to attract a broad range of involvement and responses from the public, issue coalition groups, and media.  Several partner organizations are graciously offering travel funds and providing Stop GTN Xpress/Coastal GasLink logo designs, T-shirts, signs, banners, and other equipment.  Volunteer activists are eager to engage you in resistance to both Northwest gas pipelines owned by TC Energy, notorious for its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  Please share this event announcement and flyer and other campaign outreach materials via text, social media, email, and website, invite and bring your friends, family, and protest signs, create props and coordinate carpools and various logistics, and join us at one or all of these lively demonstrations!

Tuesday, November 1, 4 pm PDT at TC Energy, 201 West North River Drive, Suite 505, Spokane, Washington: Meet on the north path along the Spokane River, across from Riverfront Park and between Washington and Division streets

Wednesday, November 2, 4 pm PDT at Cascade Natural Gas, 8113 West Grandridge Boulevard, Kennewick, Washington: Gather on the south sidewalk along Grandridge Boulevard

Friday, November 4, 4 pm MDT at Intermountain Gas, 555 South Cole Road, Boise, Idaho: Converge on the west Cole Road walkway near the Farmers Lateral Canal

Resist plans by TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) and regional “natural” gas utilities to increase methane gas volumes by 150 million (and eventually, incrementally 250 million) cubic feet per day and upgrade the capacity of three compressor stations of the 1,354-mile GTN pipeline that crosses from British Columbia, through north Idaho, eastern Washington, and central Oregon, to California [1, 2].  The 61-year-old, potentially explosive, climate-wrecking gas pipeline is dangerously located under the Spokane, Washington, metropolitan area and below the Schweitzer ski resort parking lot and city of Sandpoint, Idaho.  The Athol, Idaho, pump station proposed for expansion stands only two miles from the popular Silverwood Theme Park, full of hundreds of visitors on precarious rides during spring, summer, and fall days.

GTN has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to permit the GTN Xpress expansion project.  But controversy has continued to grow during and since the too-brief comment period on FERC’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS) that closed on August 22, despite a timely letter from twenty mostly Oregon groups and Wild Idaho Rising Tide, requesting that FERC provide an additional 30 days for the public to review and evaluate the document [3].  As thousands of people across the Northwest rise to oppose GTN Xpress, FERC has received over 1,300 oppositional petition signatures and extensive, informative remarks from concerned citizens, environmental and climate groups, and tribal, state, and federal government officials, denouncing draft EIS deficiencies and the fracked gas pipeline expansion’s significant contributions to worsening climate change, while the Northwest transitions off fossil fuels toward more sustainable, renewable energy sources [2, 4, 5].

Attempting to foist stranded Canadian gas assets on the Northwest, likely aware of its gradually failing product prospects, TC Energy expects to quickly, stealthily secure GTN Xpress approval by FERC and other government regulatory agencies.  It has strategically enlisted contracted, third-party, environmental reviewers with undisclosed conflicts of interests as consulting firms simultaneously working with TC Energy, and has expanded its other pipeline volumes, instead of building new infrastructure that attracts justified direct actions from frontline fossil fuels fighters [6, 7].  With anticipated release of a final EIS on November 18, postponed from October 14, and a pending conclusive FERC decision on GTN Xpress in February 2023, impacted residents and concerned communities must act swiftly to protect the inland Northwest from this proposal [8]. Continue reading

Stop North Idaho’s Keystone XL Pipeline!

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0 GTN Idaho Map 1

GTN Xpress Gas Pipeline Expansion

Residents of the Northwest and Turtle Island continent continue to experience the extreme, worsening heat, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods caused by fossil-fueled climate change.  But Canadian energy company TC Energy (formerly TransCanada), owner of the notoriously leaky Keystone tar sands pipeline, partially completed but unpermitted Keystone XL pipeline, and new Coastal GasLink line invading unceded indigenous lands in British Columbia (B.C.), expects the public not to notice its plans to stealthily expand its 1,353-mile-long Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline across north Idaho, eastern Washington, and central Oregon [1-5].

The GTN Xpress project would dangerously increase “natural” gas volumes by 150 million to 250 million cubic feet per day, in its 61-year-old pipeline system.  GTN transports gas extracted via hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” from the prolific West Canadian Sedimentary Basin and Rocky Mountain fields of northeast British Columbia and Alberta.  It connects with the Foothills and Nova Gas Transmission pipelines in Canada near Kingsgate, B.C., crosses the U.S. border at Eastport, Idaho, and terminates in Malin, Oregon, where it flows into the Tuscarora pipeline in northern California.  In north Idaho, the climate-wrecking, potentially explosive GTN pipeline traverses the Moyie Valley, Bonners Ferry, and the Highway 95 corridor, close and parallel to railroad lines.  GTN passes under a Schweitzer Mountain ski resort parking lot and West Pine Street in Sandpoint, and below the Pend Oreille River near Dover, downstream from Idaho’s largest, deepest lake.  From Malin in southern Oregon, the controversial Pacific Connector pipeline would have carried feedstock gas out to the coastal Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Coos Bay.  But a decade-plus of broad public opposition and regulatory hurdles overcame both boondoggles.

Through a compression-only expansion of the GTN system, GTN Xpress would software-upgrade the capacity and pressure of the gas-fired turbine compressor at the Athol, Idaho, pump station 5, from 14,300 to 23,470 horsepower.  Although the Athol station is located at 2244 East Seasons Road in Kootenai County, a dispatch center in Portland, Oregon, remotely controls it and 11 other compressor stations, numbered 3 through 14, which move gas along the U.S. part of the pipeline.  The facility stands just two miles west-northwest of the popular Silverwood Theme Park, full of hundreds of visitors on precarious rides during spring, summer, and fall days.  Installing new equipment and improving an access road at two Washington and Oregon compressor stations and along the pipeline, the GTN Xpress project would push an additional 250,000 dekatherms of gas per day out to smaller, linked pipelines and markets in Washington, Oregon, and California.  As one dekatherm provides enough gas for five average-sized (over-large) homes, new GTN Xpress infrastructure and gas volumes would force 1.2 million households to use fossil fuels for at least another 30 years.

Excess Gas & Northwest Energy Transitions

In its October 2021 application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the GTN Xpress project, TC Energy claims that “increased market demand driven by residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Pacific Northwest” justifies aged GTN pipeline expansion, and that “the benefits of GTN’s proposed project far outweigh its potential adverse impacts” [6].  These plans prompted FERC to prepare a draft, federal, environmental impact statement (EIS) currently undergoing public scrutiny and input [7-9].  Although TC Energy has urged FERC to approve the project with a final EIS by October 14, 2022, and to authorize it by the 90-day federal deadline of January 12, 2023, company and agency staff must first prove to the commission that Americans, not just Idahoans and Northwesterners, need this pipeline expansion, and that GTN Xpress would benefit public interests.  As FERC called for draft EIS scoping comments on the project in February 2022, it also updated its policies guiding decisions on natural gas projects, allowing the agency to more thoroughly consider a proposal’s contributions to climate change and potential impacts on landowners and environmental justice [10]. Continue reading

Support WIRT Crowdfunding for PRDC!

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Protect Palouse Prairie WetlandsProtect Palouse Prairie Wetlands from Highway Expansion

For the fourth time in 20 years, the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) is challenging the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and now also the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), in an ongoing citizen attempt to force selection of the least environmentally disruptive, central C-3 route for proposed U.S. Highway 95 realignment south of Moscow, Idaho.  PRDC filed a legal complaint in the U.S. District Court of Idaho on March 22, 2022, against the Thorn Creek Road to Moscow highway project.  This ITD scheme plans to reroute and expand to four lanes a six-mile segment of Highway 95, along the easternmost E-2 alternative route highest on Paradise Ridge.  The E-2 alignment would significantly impact some of the few remaining tracts of native Palouse Prairie and several critical wetlands.

PRDC disputes ITD’s assessment that the E-2 route would not destroy essential wetlands larger than the half-acre threshold of the Clean Water Act.  Smaller wetland sizes along E-2 would allow the project to proceed under a “nationwide” permit, with fewer restrictions and no further public input, while wetlands larger than a half-acre require the Corps to issue a more rigorous “individual” permit.  If PRDC can prove that some wetlands along the E-2 route each surpass a half-acre in size, ITD may be forced to stop commenced construction, re-apply to the Corps for an individual permit, and defend its preferred E-2 alternative as the “least environmentally damaging, practicable alternative” (LEDPA), which it is not.

After negotiations among opposing attorneys, the federal court let PRDC bring two wetlands scientists and a licensed surveyor into the E-2 right-of-way.  These experts found more than a half-acre of wetlands near the southern end of the project.  Subsequently, the ITD wetlands consultant sent back to the contested site confirmed the prior ITD determination.  Now, the Corps intends to study the area and decide whether the assessments of ITD, PRDC, or neither are correct.

On July 27, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), a member organization of the PRDC coalition, launched a crowdfunding site for PRDC, to help cover the work of attorneys and experts that could cost up to $20,000, during this expensive phase of current litigation.  To win this federal case and protect native Palouse Prairie on Paradise Ridge from Highway 95 expansion, PRDC and WIRT are relying on contributions from concerned citizens and the regional community.

Please support these earnest efforts by generously donating soon toward the $4,000 target of this publicly transparent crowdfunding campaign on the GiveButter platform, or by mailing a check to PRDC.  You can further assist WIRT and PRDC reaching this goal by posting this crowdfunding page and PRDC website and facebook page updates to social media, sharing issue information and articles with your friends and family, and encouraging participation in giving to PRDC.  Thanks in advance for your gracious contributions!

Protect Palouse Prairie Wetlands from Highway Expansion

Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition website

Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition facebook page

P.O. Box 8804, Moscow, ID 83843

Climate Justice Forum: Joshua Frank on Hanford Nuclear Hazards, Northwest Pipeline Review, Idaho Rail Bridge Opening & Donations, Utah Oil Rail Line Protests, COP27 Spokane Activists 11-30-22


The Wednesday, November 30, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features Joshua Frank of independent news journal Counterpunch, discussing the leaking radioactive and potentially explosive Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington and his new book about this most toxic American site.  We also share news and reflections on native perspectives of Thanksgiving history, final environmental review and grassroots coalition opposition to Northwest fracked gas pipeline expansion, BNSF Railway food bank donations and completion of a second north Idaho lake bridge, upcoming actions against a proposed Utah oil-by-rail line, and indigenous Spokane activists at the United Nations COP27 climate conference in Egypt.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Rethinking Thanksgiving Webinar on Indigenous Sovereignty & Land Rematriation, Northwest Pipeline Talks & FEIS 11-23-22


The Wednesday, November 23, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features an NDN Collective, Rethinking Thanksgiving webinar on indigenous and solidarity movements committed to sovereignty, land rematriation, and a just and sustainable existence for all.  We also share news and reflections on teleconferenced talks and a final environmental review of the proposed GTN Xpress Northwest gas pipeline expansion and rejection of a November holiday celebrating ongoing North American invasions.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Armistice Day, Joye Braun Passage, Idaho Drilling Resistance & Elected Legislators, Gas Pipeline & Oil Railway Protests, Coal Train Terminal Strike, Egypt COP27 Banner Action 11-16-22


The Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news, music, and reflections on Armistice, not Veterans, Day honoring peace and stopping American militarism, passage of fossil fuels pipeline fighter and indigenous water protector Joye Braun, Idaho oil and gas and waste disposal well resistance and Democrat elections to the state legislature, protests and talks to stop Northwest gas pipeline expansion at corporate and federal agency offices, solidarity actions and trainings against British Columbia pipeline and Utah oil railway construction, a strike ending union deal at the Westshore coal export terminal, and a banner raising action that disrupted a President Biden false solutions speech during a United Nations climate summit in Egypt.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Maig Tinnin on GTN Xpress Pipeline Expansion, Idaho Lake Rail Bridge, Louisiana Acid Train Wreck, Canadian Solidarity Actions Against Coastal GasLink Pipeline, Lunar Eclipse 11-9-22


The Wednesday, November 9, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a Beyond Extreme Energy phone and email action webinar hosting Maig Tinnin of Rogue Climate and discussing the GTN Xpress Northwest gas pipeline expansion and regional resistance.  We also share news, music, and reflections on the recent total lunar eclipse, near completion of a second north Idaho lake rail bridge, a Louisiana train wreck, acid and vapor spill, and resident evacuation, and Canadian solidarity actions supporting indigenous opposition to Coastal GasLink pipeline river drilling during salmon spawning season in British Columbia.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Wet’suwet’en Nation Chiefs & Defenders on Coastal GasLink Pipeline River Drilling & Solidarity Protests, Week of Actions against Northwest Gas Pipeline Expansion 11-2-22


The Wednesday, November 2, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a Decolonial Solidarity organizing call among Wet’suwet’en First Nation hereditary chiefs and land and water defenders, discussing opportunities to confront the funders and regulators of Coastal GasLink pipeline construction through unceded, indigenous territory in British Columbia.  We also share news, music, and reflections on a current week of direct actions against Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) Xpress pipeline expansion, at three Idaho and Washington fossil fuel company offices.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: GTN Xpress Northwest Gas Pipeline Expansion Webinar & Upcoming Week of Actions at Idaho & Washington Fossil Fuels Company Offices 10-26-22


The Wednesday, October 26, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features a Columbia Riverkeeper and Rogue Climate webinar about Keystone XL pipeline owner TC Energy’s plans to expand GTN Xpress gas pipeline volumes and compressor stations across Idaho and the Northwest.  We also share news, music, and reflections on an upcoming week of direct actions protesting GTN Xpress at three fossil fuel company offices in Boise, Idaho, and Spokane and Kennewick, Washington.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Deceased WIRT Activist Tributes, Second Idaho Rail Bridge Opening, NW Gas Pipeline Expansion Disputes & Outreach, BC Pipeline River Drilling Webinar, KRFP Fundraising 10-19-22


The Wednesday, October 19, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features news, music, and reflections on KRFP fall fundraising, tributes to a recently deceased WIRT direct action practitioner, possible November opening of a second north Idaho lake railroad bridge, comments and outreach to Idaho homeowners and West Coast governors and attorneys general disputing Northwest gas pipeline expansion and its environmental reviewer conflicts of interest, a First Nation webinar guiding opposition to British Columbia pipeline river drilling, and fossil fuels use in proposed northern Nevada lithium mining.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Indigenous Day & Ecological Knowledge, Northwest Gas Pipeline Expansion Webinar & Postponed Decision, Idaho Highway Construction Trespass, WIRT Activist Memorial 10-12-22


The Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features a Columbia Riverkeeper webinar about Keystone XL pipeline owner TC Energy’s plans to expand GTN Xpress gas pipeline volumes and pump stations across north Idaho and the Northwest.  We also share news, music, and reflections on Indigenous Peoples Day, traditional ecological knowledge solutions for climate and extinction crises, north Idaho highway construction trespass on private lands, postponed final environmental review of Northwest gas pipeline expansion, and a memorial for a recently deceased core WIRT activist.  Broadcast for ten 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 and online, the show describes continent-wide, grassroots, frontline resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to generous, anonymous listeners who adopted program host Helen Yost as their KRFP DJ.