Megaload Protesters Get in Their Final Shots

Helen Yost, of Wild Idaho Rising Tide, holds her sign protesting the megaloads’ use of U.S. Highway 95 through Moscow (The Lewiston Tribune/David Johnson photo).

Last of the big rigs moves through the mean streets of Moscow

MOSCOW – Helen Yost, the fiery spokeswoman for the activist group Wild Idaho Rising Tide, said she absolutely had to have the last word.

So, as the last Imperial Oil megaload exited this Latah County town late Tuesday night en route to the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada, Yost broke ranks from about 45 demonstrators standing on the sidewalk and dashed into the street.

“I was swarmed by cops, but they didn’t touch me,” Yost said, recalling how she threw a protest sign and struck the back end of the final behemoth load. “I quickly retreated back, but I had made my statement. I hit the megaload.” Continue reading

Flashpoints Interview of Cass Davis and Jim Prall

On Wednesday evening, March 7, two of the four valiant activists who risked arrest or were jailed by police on Sunday, March 4, for peacefully blocking megaload parts of an Alberta tar sands upgrader plant moving through Moscow, Idaho, talked with Flashpoints host Dennis Bernstein.  Listen to the first 17:52 minutes of this radio program as Cass Davis and Jim Prall describe tar sands devastation, political corruption, Idaho’s megaload dilemma, Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s anti-megaload campaign, and protesters’ civil disobedience on KPFA Free Speech Radio in Berkeley.

Good Riddance, ExxonMobil! 3-6-12

The last two of nearly 80 scheduled oversized loads moving from the Port of Lewiston to Alberta, Canada, made their way north on U.S. Highway 95 and through the City of Moscow on March 6. An activist organization once again took to the streets to protest the Kearl Oil Sands project. Wild Idaho Rising Tide has held protests against the shipments more than 40 times since the first oversized loads traveled the route in July.

(By Big Country News Connection, Photos courtesy of Zachary Johnson, selected from 21 facebook pictures at Final (?) Moscow Tar Sands Megaload Protest – 6 March 2012)

In a final act of defiance, a participant in the March 6 Moscow demonstration tossed a protest sign that hit the back of the last ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil megaload on Highway 95, which quoted the Port of Lewiston’s TIGER grant application, “If one oil company is successful with this alternate transportation route, many other companies will follow their lead” (Zachary Johnson photo).

(By Zachary Johnson, selected photos from among 21 pictures available on facebook at Final (?) Moscow Tar Sands Megaload Protest – 6 March 2012)

Megaloads Head North on 95; Foes Claim Victory

As 45 protesters escort two oversized shipments through Moscow, Kooskia-area couple celebrate

Megaload opponents claimed a win Tuesday as the last two Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil oversized shipments left Lewiston and headed through Moscow on U.S. Highway 95.

About 45 protesters, and nearly as many law enforcement officers, ushered the megaloads through Moscow without incident Tuesday night. [Editor’s note: Moscow police issued two misdemeanors on Thursday for two protester incidents.]

Ordinary citizens of Idaho and Montana have successfully challenged an attempt to turn U.S. Highway 12 into a permanent high-and-wide-transport corridor, Borg Hendrickson wrote in an email Tuesday. “Is this outcome a victory for the Davids of the world, the ‘little’ people? Absolutely. Is the battle over? Probably not.”

Hendrickson and her husband, Linwood Laughy of the Kooskia area, spearheaded an effort to block megaloads on U.S. 12, which is adjacent to their home along the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River. Continue reading

Last Megaloads Depart from Lewiston This Week

Megaloads Move to Pasco

RICHLAND, Washington – If the weather holds, the last megaloads stranded at the Port of Lewiston will head out Tuesday toward Canada’s oil sands.  These oversized truckloads of oil processing machinery have been very controversial.  Now oil companies have switched to shipping smaller loads out of the Port of Pasco.

Read more and listen: Last Megaloads Depart from Lewiston This Week

(By Tom Banse, Northwest Public Radio)

(Link provided by Cass Davis)

Two Arrested in Idaho for Attempting to Block Passage of Tar Sands Equipment

Two people were arrested in Moscow, Idaho, late Sunday night after they attempted to stop the passage of megaload trucks carrying oil company equipment to the Canadian tar sands.  Activists said the two were arrested after they linked arms and sat down in the street in an attempt to block the trucks.  Sunday’s action was one of dozens spurred by the passage through Moscow of shipments carrying oil-related equipment to the tar sands.

Watch Amy Goodman’s news report between 10:58 and 11:27: Two Arrested in Idaho for Attempting to Block Passage of Tar Sands Equipment

(By Democracy Now!)

(Link provided by Prairie Thunder Wolfe: “Holy Shit!!!  Wild Idaho Rising Tide finally made Democracy Now!!!!!  We have been waiting for sooooo long for DN! to recognize our struggles against the megaloads!  Way to go, WIRT!”)

Last Megaloads Leaving Port of Lewiston for Canada

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — The final two oversized loads of oil field equipment at the Port of Lewiston were set to be shipped out 18 months after the first massive Korean-built equipment arrived by barge via the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Imperial Oil moved three loads on Sunday and planned to move two more late Tuesday, weather permitting, company spokesman Pius Rolheiser said.

“There will still be some additional loads coming out of the port, but they’ll be legal loads on conventional trailers as opposed to these over-legal loads on hydraulic trailers,” Rolheiser told the Missoulian.

Rolheiser estimated the company has 100 loads remaining at the Port of Pasco in Washington, which also will travel Interstates 90 and 15 through Montana.

Read more: Last Megaloads Leaving Port of Lewiston for Canada

(By The Associated Press, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Police Arrest Two Imperial Shipment Protesters Sunday, Last Shipment Slated for Tonight

Moscow Police arrested two Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil protesters for refusing to leave the roadway at Washington and Fourth streets as a convoy of three shipments of refinery modules attempted to pass through the city.

Moscow Police Chief David Duke said James Prall, 67, and Cass Davis, 47, both of Moscow, were arrested after they were removed a second time from the road around 11 p.m. They were first removed and warned about obstructing the travel of three shipments, but then returned to the roadway where they sat down and linked arms, he said, adding two women were also removed from the roadway. They did not return, however, and so they were not arrested. Continue reading

Imperial/Exxon Ends Big Rig Shipments for the Time Being

A major chapter in the megaload saga in the Northern Rockies is drawing to a close.

Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil said Monday it’ll start the final two over-legal loads remaining at the Port of Lewiston in Idaho on the road to the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta on Tuesday night, weather permitting.

The first of 34 immense loads arrived at Lewiston by barge via the Columbia and Snake rivers in the fall of 2010, but were stranded there by legal protests and an environmental review process in Montana.

Imperial/Exxon ultimately opted to reduce the size of the original loads and ship them via interstate rather than the proposed two-lane routes of Highway 12 and Highway 200.  Those shipments began last summer, and the final two megaloads will follow the same route that their roughly 65 predecessors took: from Lewiston north to Coeur d’Alene on Highway 95, then to and through western Montana on Interstate 90 and Interstate 15 on subsequent nights.

Read more: Imperial/Exxon Ends Big Rig Shipments for the Time Being

(By Kim Briggeman, Missoulian)

Idaho Government at Work

Richard Wesson, Pullman

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 3/6/12

Here are two issues that megaload supporters should consider if they value a responsive and responsible government.

Without question, the transport of hundreds of insanely huge loads up U.S. Highway 12 will quite significantly alter the character and traditional use of that stretch of road and river. The adjacent businesses and the local residents along that route should rightfully expect at least some say in such a radical change to their neighborhood. Continue reading