Moscow Democracy School Workshop

Without public consent, how can officials “permit” industrial processes and pollution that destroy pristine land, clean water, and shared infrastructure?  Democracy Schools offered by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) examine how the American constitution has been reinterpreted and laws enacted to shift power from real people to “corporate persons.”  Learn why large businesses have gained and seemingly possess more civil rights than the communities they overrule and impact, which often lack the authority to reject unfavorable development projects.  Discover how people from Maine to Washington are working through their municipal governments to legally enforce economic and environmental sustainability.  Explore next steps for passing city or county laws to expand protections for people and places, lives and livelihoods.

Organizer Kai Huschke of CELDF in Spokane will lead the Moscow Democracy School Workshop discussing remedies to state and federal government enforcement of corporate rights to extract natural and financial resources from citizens and communities in Idaho and across the country.  Please RSVP and register to participate in this timely, pro-active seminar held in the 1912 Center Fiske Room at 412 East Third Street in Moscow between 6:00 and 8:30 pm on Friday, March 23, and from 9 am until noon on Saturday, March 24.  To cover presenter work, travel, venue, and materials costs, we are requesting a $15 registration donation upon arrival for the entire two-day-minimum session.  Similar to workshops provided in Bellingham, Washington, where an anti-coal export train initiative has emerged, and in Washington County, Idaho, where strong natural gas facility regulations have developed, further descriptions and the Two-Day Democracy School Agenda for the Moscow Democracy School Workshop are available on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide and CELDF websites.  Kai encourages participants who would like to further lead the campaigns that arise from the Moscow workshop to attend the more comprehensive Democracy School in Spokane on Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7.

Megaload Protester Faces Charge for Throwing Sign at Truck

Wild Idaho Rising Tide protester Helen Yost faces a misdemeanor charge in connection to her last act of protest against two Imperial Oil refinery modules that came through Moscow last week.

The 54-year-old Moscow woman was charged in Latah County Second District Court with throwing a substance at a vehicle after she threw her cardboard protest sign at one of the passing tractor-trailers as it came through Washington Street on March 6.  She was cited Thursday and will have an initial court appearance [at 8:30 am on] March 21.

Yost is also set for trial in Kootenai County for a charge of obstructing an officer in connection with her arrest in August 2011 by an Idaho State Police trooper while monitoring module transports, where she said she refused to give the law enforcement officer her license.  She was also cited at that time with failing to wear her seatbelt, which she said was because the vehicle she was in was parked at the time.  Her trial in Kootenai County is set for May 14.

(By The Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Imperial Gets Last of Kearl on Road

The foundation and underground services are in place at the first phase of the $8-billion Kearl Oil Sands project, seen in a recent aerial photo of the site north of Fort McMurray (Imperial Oil photo).

$11-billion plant on schedule to start up at year’s end

After months of delays, route changes, and extra work to disassemble huge oil sands modules sent from South Korea, the last loads are on the road to Imperial’s $10.9-billion Kearl project.

The final shipment of 33 modules left the Port of Lewiston, Idaho, last week on the way to Edmonton, where they will be reassembled and sent to Fort McMurray.

Meanwhile, about half of the 205 imported modules remain at the Port of Pasco, midway between Lewiston and the Port of Vancouver, Washington.  The Korean units represent about 20 percent of the modules needed for the vast Kearl project.  Almost all of the remainder were constructed in Edmonton-area yards, primarily in Nisku.

The Pasco modules are being disassembled and sent off in batches of two or three shipments twice a week, following a four-lane highway to Spokane, Washington, and Butte, Montana, then north to Alberta on a route that will take them east of Calgary.

“We’ve been moving multiple loads but on fewer nights,” said spokesman Pius Rolheiser.  Imperial has day park locations along the route.

Kearl is scheduled to start up at the end of this year with work now about 90 percent complete.

…Depending on weather and permits, all Pasco modules will be at Kearl by the summer.

…Imperial won’t be building an upgrader at Kearl but is using a patented paraffinic froth treatment system to produce a solids-free bitumen that will be blended with diluent and shipped by pipeline to North American refineries.

…A key feature of Imperial’s plan is to ship the Kearl diluted bitumen on the proposed 500,000 barrels-per-day TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, which has become a hot political issue in the U.S.

Read more: Imperial Gets Last of Kearl on Road

(By Dave Cooper, Edmonton Journal)