The Tar Sands Stop Here! Public Forum

On Thursday, December 1, the Four Worlds International Institute, the Wilderness Committee, and Hereditary Chief of the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Chickasaw Nation Phil Lane, Jr. will host a public forum about Alberta tar sands pipelines and tankers in British Columbia at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver and via global internet.  The live streamed program will begin at 6:30 pm with the Oceanside Dakota Drum and a 7 pm welcome from Ruben George, the Sundance Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, the indigenous peoples of Burrard Inlet who are opposing oil tanker traffic there.  Next, Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nation, representing the Yinka Dene Alliance of five nations, will discuss the declaration and campaign to stop the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.  Rex Weyler of Tanker Free BC and Greenpeace will talk about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline to Vancouver and dredging to accommodate 300 tar sands super tankers per year in Burrard Inlet.  Melina Laboucon-Massimo, a Greenpeace tar sands campaigner from the Lubicon Cree First Nation will share her perspective on the Alberta tar sands.  Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein will explore how the Keystone XL pipeline victory impacts BC and the international climate justice movement.  Lastly, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr. will offer summary remarks.  Please engage this great opportunity to learn more about these important issues and the role we can play alongside indigenous people stopping these related tar sands developments.  Watch this historic event live on the homepage of Four Worlds International Institute at

For more information, see The Tar Sands Stop Here!

Six-Megaload Rolling Roadblock & Resident Rage 11-29-11

Thanks to Jeremy Jenkins for filming Alberta tar sands equipment roaring through the gauntlet of Moscow, Idaho, opposition during our 24th direct confrontation with Highway 95 megaloads on Tuesday, November 29.  If three previous transports stranded by weather at the milepost 405 parking area had also moved that night as planned, travelers could have encountered up to six rolling roadblocks on the 115 miles between Lewiston and Coeur d’Alene.  Instead, the parked loads supposedly moved on Wednesday evening, November 30, when the Idaho Transportation Department postponed another three smaller modules scheduled for Lewiston departure.  Several Tuesday protesters witnessed on-the-job flagger training as we stood at one of the busiest intersections in Moscow.  One experienced flagger constantly yelled instructions to a neophyte just before ExxonMobil again plundered our consciences and risked our resources and lives with unprepared contracted personnel.

Local Tar Sands Action Movement Strategy Session

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) organizer Robb Briggs is hosting a strategy session for the national group Tar Sands Action (TSA) at his Pullman home on Wednesday, November 30, starting at 7 pm.  TSA was founded along with by Bill McKibben, the author of many excellent books, including The End of Nature, Deep Economy, and Eaarth, who visited the University of Idaho last spring and has emerged in recent years as our nation’s most prominent and effective climate activist.  In August and September 2011, TSA organized the civil disobedience demonstrations at the White House that led to the arrest of more than 1,200 protesters (including Rob).  On November 6, TSA led a rally that surrounded the White House and drew more than 10,000 participants.  These efforts are widely credited with causing President Obama to delay a final decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline permit until after the 2012 election.  WIRT extends this invitation and welcome to the newly formed Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, WIRT members, and other interested local activists.  Please view the following web link to optionally RSVP and for a map of the meeting location and additional information.  A carpool to Pullman will leave the Tri-State parking lot after 6:30 pm.  Contact Rob with your questions about this event.

For more information, see: Tar Sands/Climate Movement Strategy Session


Coal Export Threatens the Northwest

This compelling four-minute video produced by our Portland allies highlights plans to export dirty U.S. coal to Asia.  Local voices from Longview, Bellingham, Hood River, and Portland share how coal trains and terminals could harm their communities.  Footage captures the filth of coal and the spirit of people who know we can do better.

Six-Megaload Rolling Roadblock & Resident Rage

On Tuesday evening, November 29, the contracted hauler Mammoet will transport six megaloads of Alberta tar sands equipment on Highway 95 for ExxonMobil’s Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil.  If Idaho weather and citizens again abet ecological destruction and Native genocide in northeastern Alberta, three shipments each weighing 80,000 pounds and measuring 80 to 110 feet long will leave the Port of Lewiston after 8 pm.  These 14- to 15-feet high, 24-feet wide, rolling roadblocks will travel independently except when they huddle against Moscow protesters as a single convoy escorted through town by sold-out flaggers and pilot vehicle drivers and our corporate co-opted state police. Continue reading

Capitalism vs. the Climate

There is a question from a gentleman in the fourth row.

He introduces himself as Richard Rothschild. He tells the crowd that he ran for county commissioner in Maryland’s Carroll County because he had come to the conclusion that policies to combat global warming were actually “an attack on middle-class American capitalism.” His question for the panelists, gathered in a Washington, DC, Marriott Hotel in late June, is this: “To what extent is this entire movement simply a green Trojan horse, whose belly is full with red Marxist socioeconomic doctrine?”

Here at the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, the premier gathering for those dedicated to denying the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet, this qualifies as a rhetorical question. Like asking a meeting of German central bankers if Greeks are untrustworthy. Still, the panelists aren’t going to pass up an opportunity to tell the questioner just how right he is.

Read more: Capitalism vs. the Climate

(By Naomi Klein, The Nation)

(Link provided by Rob Briggs)

Highway 95 Megaload Collision Outcomes

After the November 8 rear-end collision on Highway 95 between Shawn Dewitt of Princeton, who had voluntarily stopped to ask a megaload flagger how to proceed, and tribal member Frank Bybee of Desmet, who rear-ended Shawn’s stopped vehicle, a Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) facebook friend contacted us to relate that Frank had said that the multiple convoy lights had distracted and blinded him and that no visible flagger had directed the situation.  Predictably, Idaho State Police Captain Lonnie Richardson recounted the incident differently for the November 10 Moscow-Pullman Daily News article, stating that “It had nothing to do with the loads or being confused by the lights.  It was just driver error.” Continue reading

ITD Neglected Its Mandate

Eric L. Jensen, Moscow

Moscow-Pullman Daily News 11/25/11

On October 27, my wife and I were driving from the Lewis-Clark Valley to Moscow. At about 8-8:30 p.m. we came over the top of the hill by Johnson Trucking doing the speed limit of 60 mph. A few seconds after coming over the top of the hill we were surprised by dozens of pylons – maybe hundreds – across all lanes of the highway. There was no warning, no signage to explain how to get through this mess, and no Idaho Transportation Department employees. Images of a collision rushed through my mind. There was a lone worker by a nonstate of Idaho truck along the side of the road. He made no effort to direct or assist us. We did not know how to get through this massive obstruction and were somewhat panic stricken. We made it through the pylons somehow but it all happened so quickly I don’t recall how we did it. Continue reading

Tar Sands Myth Busters: Jobs

We don’t need the pipelines, megaloads, or tar sands to give us more jobs.

1) “Across a range of clean energy projects, including renewable energy, transportation, and energy efficiency, for every million dollars spent, 16.7 green jobs are created.  That is over three times the 5.3 jobs per million dollars that are created from the same spending on fossil-fuel industries.”

Searching for Green Jobs for the Coalfields

2) “Despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP together reduced their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees during that time.”

Big Oil Companies Make Huge Profits with Taxpayer Support but Cut Jobs Anyway

3) Researchers at Cornell University put a lot of time and energy into examining the subject of jobs and the Keystone XL pipeline.  Share their findings by downloading a free pdf document from this page:

Cornell University Economists Debunk Keystone XL Economic Claims

(Information compiled by Sharon Cousins.)