Megaload Arrives in Moscow 8-25-11

On the first Thursday evening of the University of Idaho fall semester, the eighth and one of the biggest ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil tar sands equipment shipments arrived in Moscow, where six protesters blocked its deadly path and hundreds more demonstrated in solidarity with First Nations Canadians poisoned by tar sands operations and Keystone XL pipeline protesters at the White House.

(Video and link provided by Tom Hansen)

Police Arrest Megaload Protesters in Moscow, Idaho 8-25-11

An Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil tar sands module moving through Moscow, Idaho, shortly after midnight on August 26, 2011, resulted in multiple arrests and the largest act of civil disobedience ever recorded in Moscow, after about 150 people gathered to protest.  Moscow police arrested six demonstrators who blocked the megaload for a half hour.  Approximately seventy such loads are traversing Highway 95 through the city, bound for the Alberta tar sands to strip mine and process ‘dirty oil’ bitumen from the pristine boreal forest/wetland ecosystem, spew the single greatest amount of carbon emissions over North America, and deposit vast quantities of polluted water into huge, toxic lakes that leak into the Athabasca River and poison wildlife and First Nations people.

Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney watched and later offered approving comments about the protest to the Moscow Pullman Daily News, who noted that she was saddened by the passing of the megaload through Moscow to the Alberta tar sands but felt the protest was successful.  “I thought the protest was peaceful and powerful,” she said.  “I think law enforcement, from my observations, handled it well.”  Chaney said she hopes that Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil will consider an alternative route from the Port of Pasco up U.S. Highway 395 then Interstate 90 through Washington and Idaho and into Montana to Interstate 15.  According to KRFP Radio Free Moscow, this was the least peaceful protest in the history of Moscow: Civil Disobedience Stops Tar Sands Megaload

(Video and heavily edited text provided by a megaload proponent)

Megaload Moves Out for Moscow and Beyond

An Imperial Oil megaload passes under the highway sign at the split between U.S. Highway 95 and U.S. Highway 12. The 24-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall, and 208-foot-long oversized load departed Lewiston Thursday night on its way to Moscow and beyond to Alberta, Canada (The Lewiston Tribune/Kyle Mills photo).

Imperial Oil shipment leaves via U.S. Highway 95.

(Editor’s Note: Ms. Wiliams wrote this story off-site with a phone interview, before the largest Moscow anti-tar sands megaload protest erupted later that evening.)

The stars in a summer sky were among the only witnesses to the departure of the first Imperial Oil megaload to go through Moscow.

The load left the Port of Lewiston at 10:05 p.m. Thursday, following a couple of honks that signaled the start of its journey.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide, an anti-megaload group, had previously announced plans to watch it leave Lewiston and protest it in Moscow. Continue reading

More than Tree Trimming

Vince Murray, Moscow

Moscow-Pullman Daily News 8/22/11

When I first read Devin Rokyta’s “Our View” editorial (Opinion, August 16) about the Kearl Oil Sands project in Alberta, I thought he was being satirical, and I almost started laughing. But after reading it several times, my jaw began to drop. Writing to express the opinion of the Daily News editorial board, Rokyta states that the oil sands project cannot be stopped, but that will be true only if we do nothing to stop it – if we merely say, as Rokyta does, that it’s going to happen, so let’s make some money off it. Continue reading

Rethink Megaload Issue

Sonja Lewis, Moscow

Moscow-Pullman Daily News 8/22/11

Devin Rokyta (Our View, Opinion, August 16) needs to rethink the megaload issue.

As a 20-year resident of Moscow and 10-year homeowner, I have witnessed how reluctant large self-contained RVs are to freely roam around town to shop and utilize our dining and lodging. Vehicle size is not without consequence!

Imperial Oil/Exxon Mobil’s drivers and support crew may not be eager to find adequate parking and cruise our facilities, either. Continue reading

Megaload May Roll through Monday: Imperial Oil Received Permit from ITD

Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil can move its first half-height megaload through Moscow on U.S. Highway 95 Monday from the Port of Lewiston after receiving a permit Wednesday through the Idaho Transportation Department.

The equipment module, destined for the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada, is 24-feet wide, 14-feet tall and 208-feet long, according to an email from ITD spokesman Jeff Stratten. Including the pusher truck, the total weight of the shipment is 413,600 pounds. Continue reading

Natural Gas Drillers Eye the Northwest

Reports of burning tap water and contaminated aquifers have followed the natural gas industry to the Pacific Northwest, where some drilling could involve the controversial practice of “hydraulic fracturing.”

For millions of years, vast deposits of natural gas have been trapped beneath much of the continental United States. Only in the past decade have energy companies possessed an extraction technique that allows them to free a good deal of the previously untapped reserves. This gas rush has sent federal, state and local lawmakers scrambling to reassess their drilling regulations.

Access the entire story with a map, photos, and audio/video files: Natural Gas Drillers Eye the Northwest

(By Bonnie Stewart and Aaron Kunz, Oregon Public Broadcasting EarthFix)