WIRT Newsletter: Missoula & Pullman Coal Protests, Idaho Fracking Campaigns & News, & Top 2012 Climate Stories

Dirty Energy Resisting Comrades,

Join us in January 11 through 20 Coal Export Resistance Solidarity Actions in Missoula, Moscow, Pullman, Sandpoint, Spokane, and across the Northwest!  Please instigate protests in your area, encourage similar revolt among your friends by regionally sharing these links, post your action announcements, photos, and reports at the facebook event, and send your multi-media demonstration results to the regulatory agencies and coal corporations.  Northwesterners do not want to study potential coal export impacts; we want to stop them before they start!

STOP COAL EXPORTS: Join Solidarity Actions (WIRT and allies in January 9 EcoWatch!)

Coal Export Resistance Solidarity Actions

Coal Export Resistance Solidarity Actions in Missoula

Blue Skies Campaign invites Montanans and regional allies to a solidarity protest: “Missoulians, please come to our action in Missoula, Montana, on January 12.  We will meet for the action at 12:00 pm, at the intersection of Railroad Street West and Owen Street (on the south side of the railroad tracks, near the pedestrian crossing).  From there, we will choose a spot for a banner drop.  Show up at noon to help out and feel free to bring signs!”

Pullman Anti-Coal Export Solidarity Action

Friday, January 11, 7 pm to 8 pm, meet at the Washington State University Visitor Center (405 NE Stadium Way, near the corner of NW Davis Way and North Grand Avenue in Pullman, Washington)

Another solidarity action has emerged in eastern Washington!  Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and Pullman community activists will display the coal export opposing people’s train of cardboard “rail cars” near the train tracks on North Grand Avenue on Friday evening.  Participants will motivate and mobilize more citizen input toward public comment and demonstration opportunities by circulating Northwest coal issue information and connections.

Credo/WIRT Anti-Fracking Collaboration

An anti-fracking campaign manager with the progressive telephone service provider Credo contacted WIRT over the holidays, offering us assistance and opportunities to cooperatively mobilize Credo’s three million members to take action against fracking in Idaho communities by signing petitions, submitting public comments, making phone calls, attending public hearings, and participating in anti-fracking events.  We have been discussing strategies and possible tactics by phone and linking Credo with our southern Idaho colleagues, Alma Hasse and Tina Fisher of fracking ground-zero Payette County.  Together, we have been providing insights informing a potential online Credo petition calling for an outright ban on fracking or a moratorium pending further research, targeting Idaho legislators and/or state agency regulators and/or the elected officials of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.  Because the 2013 Idaho legislative session will negotiate some of the last legal hurdles for oil and gas companies recently completing seismic testing and gas field exploration, before they effectively frack the shallow groundwater that supports one of Idaho’s richest agricultural regions, we are also suggesting 2013 bill possibilities while seeking legislator support of anti-fracking measures.  When these good-faith endeavors predictably fail, we will utilize direct actions, local ordinances and lawsuits, and community bills of rights and/or a statewide ballot initiative to push back.  We appreciate working with Credo to stop first fracking in Idaho before it starts.  Please see the following three examples of statewide online petitions that Credo has sent by email to its members in other locations.

Tell Governor Brown: Ban Fracking Now.

Tell Governor Scott: Don’t Frack Florida.

Tell the Illinois General Assembly: Ban Fracking Now.

Idaho Anti-Fracking Campaign

We are building a coalition of allied organizations opposing fracking in Idaho and spreading the word about our state’s imminent poisoning and our counter-attack, possibly even sharing our tar sands megaload and fracking resistance ideas in a panel discussion at the widely-attended “E-Law” conference in Eugene in late February.  Since early December, we have also invited our Rising Tide colleagues from Missoula and Portland and Idaho fracking activists to host a direct action workshop in the Payette County or Boise area, to prepare for protests at the first fracked wells.  In conjunction with this training, possibly as a weekend event, we are organizing an Idaho anti-fracking strategizing session, with as many organization leaders and activists as possible, like our recent, successful gatherings with Occupy Spokane and our regional community, Stand Up! Fight Back! Against Big Coal in the Northwest.  We are also assessing the possibility of mounting an on-the-ground campaign in the soon-to-be-fracked fields in southern Idaho, when the winter weather clears, and will launch our Indiegogo anti-fracking/injection well funding campaign on the internet soon.

After the Spokane screening of Just Do It, the know-your-rights session with Gonzaga law students, and discussing anti-coal export actions over dinner, Terry Hill of Occupy Spokane and Helen Yost of WIRT amazingly parked in front and center of River Park Square in downtown Spokane at prime time (7 pm) on Saturday, January 5, and saw the newly opening, fracking dramatizing movie Promised Land in a disappointingly third-full theater.  Although fact really is stranger and stronger than fiction, our Credo colleague had said that the film poorly portrayed “environmentalists,” and we have often wondered about covert industry-conservation alliances.  In this Gus Van Sant fantasy, the heart of the slick gas company salesman warms, he admits the riskiness of corporate pursuits, and even the rednecks beat him up.  While it only briefly describes the negative aspects of fracking, the movie definitely raises awareness about corporate money dividing American communities and the deceptive tactics used by natural gas companies to get their way.  To stir up some action among the apathetic masses residing in the bulls-eye of this conflict, Tina and Alma have compiled some outreach material about the natural gas industry, fracking, leases in Idaho and Oregon, and laws passed by our legislators, for distribution outside theaters showing Promised Land.  Although we cannot approach movie-goers on private property, and our efforts may not be entirely welcomed and appreciated by the communities about to be fracked, these two intrepid activists have covered Ontario, Oregon, theaters and are requesting similar outreach at other places screening Promised Land in Idaho and Oregon.  Please contact WIRT if you are interested in joining us in researching where this film is playing and handing out information near theaters.

The year in which WIRT emerged, 2011, marked 200 years of Luddite resistance to the myriad forms of utter industrial insanity selectively portrayed in Promised Land.  Throughout our history, but especially during the false affluence of middle class since World War II, corporate money has been at the heart of the domestic resource and culture wars.  As we have experienced countless times in the economically and educationally under-advantaged rural areas of the West, like in Appalachia and the deep South, it preys upon unemployed workers and the ignorant and poor, who often become its most vitriolic, if not violent, defenders, too proud to admit they have been duped.  We all need to start realizing how swindled we have been by everything we have bought and believed, sold by the “dealers” of industry, commerce, and religion, before we sell off to the energy companies our second most precious necessity – water.  We have already relinquished much of our lower atmosphere to the health-wrecking pollution that precipitates climate change.


(In reverse chronology)

We Got the Shell Out of the Sacred Headwaters (December 18 ForestEthics video)

In a rare victory against an oil company, Royal Dutch Shell withdrew its 2004 Klappan Coalbed Methane Project proposal to destructively drill and frack more than 1,000 gas wells within 400,000 hectares in British Columbia’s Sacred Headwaters, threatening the surrounding and downstream communities, wildlife, habitat, and watersheds of a vast, pristine alpine basin and source of three important salmon rivers: the Nass, Skeena, and Stikine.

“Defend the Land, Oppose Fracking!”: Earth First!ers Currently Locked Down To Mining and Energy Commission (December 18 Croatan Earth First!)

“Our only recourse, after so many attempts to block the legalization process, is to oppose hydrofracking with our presence.  We are willing to put our bodies between the land we love and those who want to destroy it.  Join us.”

Gas Line Explodes in West Virginia; Homes Burn, Freeway Damaged (December 11 NBC News)

Review of University of Texas Fracking Study Finds Failure to Disclose Conflict of Interest (Updated) (December 6 StateImpact)

Town of Onondaga Bans Hydrofracking (December 4 CNY Central News)

Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep U.S. Clueless on Wells (November 29 Bloomberg)

Fracking Our Food Supply (November 28 The Nation)

Better Fracking (November 26 OnPoint)

Tom Ashbrook interviews:

* Russell Gold, energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal

* Eli Gruber, founder, chairman, and CEO of Ecologix Environmental Systems, a wastewater treatment company specializing in hydraulic fracturing, municipal wastewater treatment, and industrial wastewater

* Rob Jackson, professor of environmental sciences and biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment

* Anthony Ingraffea, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University

Trio Charged with Illegal Frack Water Dumping (November 15 Williamsport Sun-Gazette)

Loophole Lets Toxic Oil Water Flow Over Indian Land (November 15 All Things Considered)

On the Wind River Indian reservation beyond state jurisdiction, ranchers have encouraged and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allowed surface disposal of produced water for decades.  Could drawing comparisons between the oil and natural gas geology of Payette County, Idaho, and the Pavillion, Wyoming, area within this reservation be compromised by the latter’s above-ground fracking pollution?

SkyTruth Releases Fracking Chemical Database (November 14 SkyTruth)

Ballot Question 300: Longmont Fracking Ban Storms to Victory (November 6 Boulder Daily Camera)

Next up: Idaho?  On November 5, by decisive, popular vote and trending wide margins of victory, the towns of Longmont, Colorado, Ferguson, Pennsylvania, and Broadview Heights and Mansfield, Ohio, enacted community rights amendments to their home rule charters that ban fracking!  Although oil and gas corporations spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in opposition, the determined grassroots efforts and countless hours of field work across the country, by citizens and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, prevailed.

(Please see the attached Thomas Linzey Longmont Colorado Editorial)

Mitt Romney’s Fracking Hit List (November 2 Rolling Stone)

Ten wild and wonderful places spared from fracking…for now!

Hurricane Sandy May Have Spared Fracking Operations, But Toxic Concerns Remain (November 1 Huffington Post)

Thanks to Maree for this article that describes the vicious, dangerous cycle of climate changing natural gas fracking operations impacting and being impacted by increasing extreme weather events

Man-Made Quakes by Drilling and Fracking New Report (October 29 Examiner)

Fracking Dangers: Seven Ugly Reasons Why Wilderness Lovers Should Be Worried (October 27 Wilderness Society)

Permit Given for Fracking near Nuclear Plant (October 21 Uniontown Herald-Standard)


Top Climate Stories of 2012 (December 28 ScienceBlogs)

2012 EcoNews that Will Drive Headlines in 2013 (December 28 EcoWatch)

Story of the Year: It’s Global Warming, Stupid (December 31 EcoWatch)

It’s Global Warming, Stupid (November 1 Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Hit New Record in 2011, Survey Shows (November 20 Huffington Post)

Arctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Low, NASA Says (August 27 BBC)

Arctic Warming is Altering Weather Patterns, Study Shows (September 30 Climate Central)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook


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