Weekly WIRT Potluck Tonight!


Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is holding potluck gatherings at 7 pm on Thursdays at the WIRT Activist House in Moscow, setting organizational goals, brainstorming strategies, devising tactics, establishing roles, delegating tasks, and mobilizing our collective!  Upcoming and ongoing projects include:

* Plans for initiating a regional canvass, filling the WIRT Activist House, and raising campaign funds

* Carpools to the Monday, September 9 Idaho Rivers United/Nez Perce federal court hearing about Highway 12 megaloads in Boise, Idaho, and to the Sunday and Monday, September 15-16 September Showdown organized by Coal Export Action in Helena, Montana

* Preparation for the Wednesday, September 18 Fourth Annual Tar Sands Healing Walk presentation co-hosted by Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition in Moscow, Idaho

* Organization of a Friday, September 20 co-sponsored benefit concert for arrested Nez Perce megaload blockaders, involving two to three invited bands at the Unitarian Church in Moscow, Idaho

* Tactics for protesting and monitoring the next (fifth) mid-late September launch of an Omega Morgan-hauled General Electric tar sands evaporator on Highway 12 in Idaho Continue reading

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Put Residents Above Oil Companies


Linda Widner, Weiser

The Argus Observer 8/29/13

(Washington County) Commissioner Anderson and Commissioner Chandler, I’m writing this letter to ask you why you feel following reasonable ordinances is too much for oil companies?  Are they not a multibillion-dollar industry?

Yes, I agree we need more job opportunities in Washington County.  However, I also believe if the oil company causes damage to land, water, animals, and people, it needs to be responsible to take care of whatever damages it causes.  If it decides to drill on your property and it stirs up methane gas, are you going to pay to fix that problem?  Do you think your insurance company will gladly pay?  I don’t think so.

I recently read an MSN article regarding fracking and how banks and lending agencies are revisiting their lending policies to account for potential impacts of drilling.  Also, home insurance policies do not cover residential properties with gas leases or gas wells.

You, like other politicians, were elected by voters to watch out for our best interests.  Instead, it seems politicians only want the job for their own personal agendas.  Please work for our community.

Megaload Ban Could Cost General Electric Millions


Today’s hearing postponed until next week; Omega Morgan won’t move any loads until September 18

A subsidiary of the General Electric Company (GE) could lose millions of dollars if megaload shipments are banned or even significantly delayed on U.S. Highway 12, according to court documents.

Resources Conservation Company International (RCCI), a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate, has asked to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United (IRU) that seeks to compel the U.S. Forest Service to stop the shipment of megaloads across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

A hearing in that case scheduled for today has been delayed until September 9, and shipping company Omega Morgan has agreed not to move any megaloads across the highway until September 18.

William Heins, vice president and chief operating officer for Resources Conservation Company International, said his company could suffer $3.6 million in damages if it doesn’t deliver water evaporators as contracted and on time to oil fields in Alberta, Canada.

If the company is unable to use the highway and has to find another route, it could incur additional planning, engineering, and transportation costs of $5.1 million.  Finally, Heins said his company would lose $75 million if delays cause its customer to cancel a contract to provide water purification equipment to the oil fields. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Brooklyn Baptiste & Justin Ellenbecker 8-26-13


The Monday, August 26, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) welcomes two regional activists who participated in the indigenous-led Moccasins on the Ground direct action training camp near Whitehall, Montana, on August 23 to 25.  We are honored to hear Brooklyn Baptiste tell the epic story of the four-night Nez Perce Tribe blockade on August 5 through 8 of an Alberta tar sands evaporator on Highway 12 in Idaho, as well as updates about a related federal court injunction hearing.  Justin Ellenbecker of various social and environmental justice organizations in Spokane also describes Moccasins on the Ground and local coal/shale oil export resistance and media attention, the broadened Gateway Pacific coal terminal analysis, and upcoming scoping hearings about a proposed Longview coal port.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT live at 92.5 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ.

WIRT Potluck Meeting Every Thursday at 7 pm


Co-activists,

As a previous Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) newsletter noted, WIRT is holding potluck meetings every Thursday at 7 pm.  As we work on a megaload edition, topics of tonight’s strategizing/planning session at the WIRT Activist House in Moscow include:

* Carpools to Moccasins on the Ground direct action training camp (near Whitehall, Montana, on August 23 to 25) and the Nez Perce/Idaho Rivers United federal court case hearing (in Boise on August 27)

* Tactics for protesting and monitoring the next (fifth) Omega Morgan tar sands evaporator (on Highway 12 in late August/early September)

* Volunteers for college population outreach at initial academic year events like the University of Idaho Palousafest on August 24, Lewis-Clark State College Welcome Fair on August 26, and Washington State University Cougs Connect on August 28

* Organization of a co-sponsored benefit concert for arrested Nez Perce megaload blockaders, involving two to three invited, tentative bands (at the Unitarian Church in Moscow on September 6 or 13)

* Plans for Idaho and Montana actions in solidarity with a Highway 63 blockade (between Fort McMurray and Alberta tar sands operations on an unknown date)

* Arrangements for a regional Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction/WIRT-led Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance direct action training session (on the Palouse, in the Clearwater Valley, and/or Boise in September or October)

* Logistics of upcoming events: Coal Export Action’s September Showdown in Helena, Montana, on September 15 and 16; Millennium Bulk Terminal (Longview coal port) scoping hearings in Spokane on September 25 and in Pasco on October 1; Global Frackdown  statewide or in Boise/Payette County on October 19 (Please check the WIRT website’s Events Calendar.)

* Other organizational goals, such as mobilizing our collective, establishing roles, delegating tasks, initiating a regional canvass, filling the WIRT Activist House, etc.

See you tonight!

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org & on facebook, Twitter

208-301-8039

Megaloads, Keystone XL are a Global Climate Issue


Nez Perce Trail

As I enjoy the last day of summer break, before I return back to school, I have been thinking about the recent media publicity that my tribal community has received regarding the Keystone XL pipeline [tar sands megaloads].

As an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe and a mother to three beautiful children, a couple weeks ago, our community, the Nimiipuu (aka the Real People) stood in solidarity with our First Nations brothers and sisters in Canada who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline [and tar sands mining expansion].

Although regional media has highlighted the Nez Perce tribal council arrests and members of our community for their Indigenous activism, what media has failed to see is that our community has been protesting the megaloads for well over two years.  It just happens that we held our first town hall meeting in March 2011, when Winona La Duke shared information on the negative effects of the Keystone XL [and Alberta tar sands exploitation] and the importance of protest.

In collaboration with the grassroots organizations Friends of the Clearwater and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (who have worked tirelessly on this environmental issue), our tribal council made an informed decision with the intention of making it known that the Nimiipuu oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and the transportation of megaloads through our ancestral homelands.

Read more: Megaloads, Keystone XL are a Global Climate Issue

(By Renee Holt, Nez Perce tribal member)

WIRT Newsletter: Idaho Drilling/F​racking Updates, Risks, & Resistance News


Dirty energy resisters,

IDAHO OIL & GAS DRILLING/FRACKING

Outline of Idaho Oil and Gas/Injection Well Rules (Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission)

Reasonably Foreseeable Development Scenario for Oil and Gas Development in the Four Rivers Field Office Idaho (October 16, 2009 Bureau of Land Management)

Low-Flying Airplane Mapping Spokane Area (May 15 U.S. Geological Survey)

Claiming that it was measuring and mapping the magnetic field of the earth and related subsurface geologic and hydrologic features, such as shallow faults that caused small 2001 Spokane earthquakes, the U.S. Geological Survey contracted EDCON-PRJ, a company involved in mining and oil and gas exploration around the world, to fly low-level aircraft over the Spokane/eastern Washington/northern Idaho area and other parts of Idaho for nearly a month this spring.  Are corporate forces exploring fracking opportunities in our region?

If you would like local answers to this question, as a WIRT member is seeking in the Grangeville area, search your county recorder’s office for oil and gas leases, filed as encumbrances against real property after they are signed and made available online by some counties, such as Payette County.  Among various ways to search through these documents, the easiest method entails using the code for oil and gas leases that the county clerk or recorder assigns.  If you do a “grantee” search, look for these companies that have operated recently in Idaho: Alta Mesa Idaho (or AM Idaho), Bridge Resources, Idaho Natural Resources, and Snake River Oil and Gas.

Gas Exploration Benefits Southwest Idaho Farmers (July 5 Capital Press)

Industry spin and citizen cooperation: Although Idaho state law prevents local governments from regulating the technical aspects of oil and gas drilling, it allows them to create ordinances that protect public health and safety and property rights.  The 60-member Weiser River Resource Council, which advocates responsible drilling and fair landowner/neighbor treatment by industry, is pushing for strong, local ordinances that protect the environment, public infrastructure, and property rights and that mitigate potential negative effects, according to co-chair Amanda Buchanan.

Alma Hasse on Kevin Miller Show (July 24)

On Wednesday, July 24, between 7 and 8 am, Alma of Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) talked about fracking/drilling in Idaho on the Kevin Miller program on KIDO 580 AM, Boise, Idaho.  She encouraged distant fractivists and IRAGE friends to call in to the toll-free phone number on Kevin’s website, and she later described her host as a perfect gentlemen.

Payette County Oil and Gas Ordinance (July 29)

The Payette County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held their public hearing on the proposed county oil and gas ordinance at 11:00 am on Monday, July 29, at the Payette County Courthouse.  Fellow fractivist Alma Hasse mobilized community involvement, attended, and offered information for this report.  The commissioners had demolished most of the ordinance that the planning and zoning commission (P&Z) had worked on for six months.  But they retained the nationally rare requirements for baseline water testing before drilling, although of only two down-gradient domestic wells (or of two up-gradient wells, if two below cannot be located).

Industry attorney/spokesperson Michael Christian adamantly argued against the need to conduct baseline water testing, disingenuously saying that samplers would not know which chemicals to target.  Alma countered that drillers could provide a sample of their flowback/produced water and a list of all of the constituents in their drilling and fracking fluids to guide chemical tests.  New Plymouth Mayor Joe Cook asserted, and Commissioner Endrikat agreed, that the nearby municipalities also need copies of all of the water testing data.  Such information after redaction should be available through the county to members of the public, who can learn what industry is testing for and conduct their own testing to ensure the accuracy of industry data.  (Please thank Mayor Cook for this policy development by calling him and/or leaving a message for him with the clerk at 208-278-5338.)

Before the hearing, Tina Fisher had measured out 200 feet at the county courthouse to provide the commissioners with a visual sense of such distance, and spoke eloquently at the meeting about the importance of oil and gas facilities placement.  Nonetheless, the county commissioners reduced the minimum setback distance between private/public buildings and oil/gas wells to 200 feet with exception language.  The P&Z commission had intended that this spacing component of the ordinance only cover oil and gas wells, whereas the earlier county commissioner version applied to all aspects of production.  However, this distinction reappeared in the latest ordinance, allowing dehydration/compression stations and toxic waste and evaporation pits and tank batteries to be located less than 200 feet away from schools, churches, parks, hospitals, etc.  Fractivists are considering all options for a successful resolution of this dilemma – a model ordinance for every county in the state to adopt – but it will necessitate plenty of work by committed citizens. Continue reading

U.S. Highway 95 Still Limited to ‘Mini’ Megaloads


As shippers’ preferred Highway 12 route is fought in court, underpasses trim trips north.

As yet another legal battle mounts against permitting oversized loads to be transported along the Wild and Scenic River Corridor on U.S. Highway 12, concerns vary as to whether U.S. Highway 95 could again be tapped as the next viable shipping option.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill will preside over a court hearing on August 27 to decide if an emergency injunction should be issued, requiring the U.S. Forest Service to enforce its standards for megaload shipments through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

The lawsuit was filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United following several days of protests of an Omega Morgan evaporator shipment bound for the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

If the Forest Service is ordered to enforce its jurisdiction over megaloads that it perceives as hazardous to the national forest and river corridor, such shipments may be halted or forced to go elsewhere.

Doral Hoff, district operations manager for the Idaho Transportation Department in Lewiston, said it isn’t likely Omega Morgan will seek permits to move any more evaporators up U.S. Highway 95 if Highway 12 is closed off. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Meredith Moffett, Elrae Potts, & Debra White Plume 8-19-13


The Monday, August 19, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) welcomes three female indigenous activists of the Lakota and Nez Perce tribes.  Meredith Moffett discusses the August 5 to 8 Nez Perce blockades of tar sands equipment on Highway 12 in Idaho, and Elrae Potts describes the August 12 protest of the same module and convoy in Missoula as well as the upcoming Moccasins on the Ground (MOG) direct action training camp near Butte on August 23 through 25.  WIRT is also honored to feature a recorded interview with Debra White Plume, who led a Lakota megaload blockade in March 2012 and coordinates MOG camps and Keystone XL pipeline resistance in South Dakota.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT live at 92.5 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ.

WIRT Newsletter: WIRT Meeting, Regional Allies’ Actions, NW Fossil Fuel Exports, & Movement Dynamics


Regional climate activists,

Over the last few weeks since the last Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) newsletter and amidst several action alerts, WIRT activists have protested oil and gas drilling and fracking in southern Idaho, trained to teach direct action tactics in preparation for nationwide Keystone XL pipeline protests, and joined blockades and roadside uprisings led by the valiant Nez Perce people against Highway 12 tar sands megaloads. In the wake of all of this activity and the extended travels since August 1 of the WIRT email/facebook/website/radio show coordinator, we are composing and sending three WIRT newsletters by the end of this week: this issue about regional fossil fuel resistance, an upcoming edition about Idaho oil and gas issues and protests, and a description/media compilation about last week’s Highway 12 megaload events. We apologize for our temporarily reduced (and corporate/competitor-scuttled?) capacity for public and media communication and outreach during such a significant time in our anti-tar sands/megaload campaign, while we applaud our many stalwart core WIRT activists who participated in historic resistance and successfully shared observations, videos, photos, and news about our collective regional work.

WIRT Weekly Potluck Meeting

Beginning with our regularly scheduled third Thursday monthly meeting on August 15, WIRT activists will start holding weekly strategizing and planning sessions at the WIRT Activist House in Moscow at 7 pm every Thursday. Please frequently check the Events Calendar on the WIRT website, call 208-310-2108 for more information, bring some food and beverages to share, and discuss these and emerging group initiatives at this WIRT convergence:

* Tactics for protesting and monitoring the next (fifth) Omega Morgan tar sands evaporator to cross Highway 12 in Idaho, perhaps next week, from a Port of Wilma warehouse to the Montana border

* Carpools from the Palouse/Clearwater Valley to Whitehall, Montana, for the indigenous-led Moccasins on the Ground direct action training camp over the August 23-25 weekend

* Plans for Idaho and/or Montana actions in solidarity with frontline, indigenous activists who will blockade Highway 63 between Fort McMurray and Alberta tar sands operations on Saturday, August 24, as proposed at the July 6 Tar Sands Healing Walk

* Arrangements for a regional direct action training session conducted by Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and WIRT organizers who participated in a Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance training for trainers in Salt Lake City on August 3 and 4

* Other upcoming organizational events and goals, such as delegating tasks, filling the WIRT Activist House, and reaching college populations Continue reading