WIRT Newsletter: Megaload Court Cases, Highway 95 Re-Route, & WIRT Fundraising

Dear dirty energy resisting comrades,

Highway 12 Omega Morgan Megaloads

On last Monday night, December 3, the first of two smaller Omega Morgan-hauled components of a wastewater evaporator traveled between 10 pm and 1:30 am, from the Port of Wilma near Clarkston, Washington, along U.S. Highway 12 to Kooskia.  The second shipment moved on Tuesday night along the same route to mile 160, just 12 miles west of the Montana border.  Although the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) expected both 20-foot-wide, two-lane blocking megaloads to cross Idaho in single nights, its spokesperson Adam Rush could not explain the reason for the early stop near Kooskia or the owner and destination of the modules.  While initially favorable weather conditions on Monday and Tuesday nights predictably worsened near Powell, on the steep, icy approach to snowy Lolo Pass, both transports entered Montana on Wednesday night, the second and third tar sands modules to ever successfully traverse Highway 12.  See November 30 through December 7 posts and links to news stories about this progression, from our previously mentioned media allies and Idaho County Free Press, KLEW TV, KRFP Radio Free Moscow, and The Lewiston Tribune, on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) website at Omega Morgan Megaloads.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide reached out to our regional community weeks in advance and soon after megaload permit issuance, via email messages and website and facebook posts, which also appeared on the Tar Sands Blockade website on December 1 as Wild Idaho Rising Tide Announces Protests Against Megaloads and on the November 30 Earth First! Newswire as Update on Tar Sands Megaloads in the Northern Rockies, both widely read by tar sands opponents across the continent.  Even in the midst of intensive organizing of carpools and oral testimony for the Spokane coal export hearing on Tuesday, December 4, while nature cornered two tar sands weapons of mass destruction up the wild, wet, and white Lochsa River valley, we again called for the protesting and monitoring participation of our friends and members.  Nonetheless, core WIRT organizers could barely recruit three people to resist parts of the largest carbon bomb on Earth, as they slithered up the Highway 12 wild and scenic river corridor.  Deep anguish overcame us again, as we watched our region relinquish physical opposition, after all the passionate words shared in defense of Highway 12 and the relentless protests, even in winter, in Moscow and Spokane over the last few years.  Although our conservation group allies have graciously provided pertinent megaload information, even when ITD omitted all of our email addresses from its last Omega Morgan press release, they have either asked Wild Idaho Rising Tide to NOT protest tar sands transports on Highway 12 or have denied us email communication.  This tar sands war will not be won by obstructing the earnest efforts of peers, for reasons as trivial as public perception.

Consider our last regional confrontation with industrial invasions: ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil’s tar sands megaload rampages.  Over almost three years, five court cases, a dozen arrests, and about 50 protests in Moscow, Spokane, Missoula, Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, and Potlatch, people fought hard against a detrimental project as it loomed and commenced, but as it progressed over time, the fickle press and public and its overworked, underpaid conservation leaders abandoned the battles or even marginalized the valiant activists who continued to cry foul.  We cannot together expect court cases to substitute for the civic responsibilities of thousands of citizens, as “civilization” relentlessly sullies every vestige of wildness and its crucial fresh air around the planet.  The Northwest/Northern Rockies has a second chance to banish climate-wrecking corporations from our public resources, after failing to stop 350 pieces of new Alberta tar sands infrastructure on our highways.  We are heartened by our communities’ anti-coal sentiments and will fight morose coal export schemes, as well as ongoing megaload incursions, with our very souls and bodies, but cannot decide if American lassitude or corporate greed is the real villain in these scenarios.  It’s all enough to make one want to lie down in the path of any of these machines, in deep despair of both the toxic legacy of persistent, pervasive industrialization and the slippery slope to the lowest common denominator of American character.  Because we try to function as a mutually supportive grassroots group, please offer your suggestions for how you personally and collectively intend to halt climate-wrecking dirty energy enterprises in our region. Continue reading