Coal Shipment Opponents: ‘They’re the Dirtiest, Most Dangerous Trains’

Concerns over proposed rail shipments of coal through Montana, Idaho’s panhandle, and Washington state before being shipped to China drew more than 800 people on Tuesday to a public hearing at Spokane’s County Fairgrounds.

Boise Weekly first told you in February about how some of the globe’s biggest mining companies want to ship hundreds of millions of tons of coal through the northernmost sections of the United States.

This morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press reports that opponents of the shipments outnumbered supporters on Tuesday.  Opponents waved signs that said, “Check the Facts,” and wore T-shirts that said, “Coal is a dirty, old source of energy, and its time has passed.”

Boise Weekly reported on similar protests on November 17, when members of Moscow-based Wild Idaho Rising Tide joined Occupy Spokane to rally in the Idaho panhandle town of Sandpoint, where many of the shipments would roll through.

Read more: Coal Shipment Opponents: ‘They’re the Dirtiest, Most Dangerous Trains’

(By George Prentice, Boise Weekly)

Schedule Changes for Latest Megaloads

First load has stopped at Kooskia; second load was scheduled to leave Port of Wilma on Tuesday night

Plans have changed for a pair of megaloads being hauled across Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 this week.

The first load left the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston on Monday evening.  It reached Kooskia early Tuesday.  The transport of water purification equipment was originally scheduled to travel as far as the Montana border by Tuesday morning, and the Idaho Transportation Department had no explanation for what prevented the shipment from going farther.

Weather sometimes stops megaloads.  Temperatures were in the low 30s with no precipitation at Powell, when the megaload was traveling.  Powell is frequently the place where conditions are among the most extreme on the route to Montana, because of its high elevation.

The second load was still anticipated to start its journey on Tuesday night and reach milepost 160, just two miles west of Powell, before 5:30 am today, said transportation department spokesman Adam Rush in Boise.

If crews had extra time, they were going to go back to Kooskia and start moving the first megaload to an unannounced stopping point, Rush said. Continue reading