Longview Coal Export Protest and Hearing


Tri-Cities Coal Scoping Hearing Meme - Power Past Coal

Eastern Washington and northern Idaho activists are gathering in Spokane at noon on Tuesday, October 1, to carpool, coordinate, and participate in a public protest and scoping hearing in Pasco, Washington, about the Millennium Bulk Terminals proposal for coal export facilities in Longview, Washington.  The Tri-Cities area, where a unit train derailed and 31 of its cars spilled six million pounds of coal on July 2, 2012, could experience up to 18 more coal trains rolling through these communities every day.  The Longview coal port and accompanying train traffic would threaten the human, environmental, and climate health as well as the public safety and economic vitality of the region.

Do not miss your only other inland Northwest opportunity, after the September 25 Spokane rally and hearing, to speak out against coal exports from Longview!  Please get an online lottery ticket to testify or share, wear red in opposition to coal, bring your friends, family, and protest signs, and voice your concerns on Tuesday about the broad coal export impacts that county, state, and federal agencies should consider in an upcoming draft environmental impact statement.  The Pasco protest commences at 3 pm outside and before the doors to The Trac Center at 6600 Burden Boulevard open at 4 pm, with proposal information displays available until 8 pm.  Citizens can offer oral comments between 5 and 8 pm either privately or publicly.  Call 509-879-7470 or 208-301-8039 for carpool arrangements with Occupy Spokane, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and other regional coal export resisters.  For further issue and comment process information, see: Continue reading

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ITD to Hold Public Meetings Statewide Starting October 7 on 129,000-Pound Truck Legislation


Public comment is solicited on proposed administrative rules governing 129,000-pound truck routes on the state highway system, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) announced.

The rules are necessary to implement three bills from the 2013 Legislature.

The legislation follows a pilot project that began in 1998 and recently ended.  The project allowed trucks and their cargo weighing a total of 129,000 pounds to use 35 test routes in Idaho.

Senate Bill 1064 made the test routes permanent on July 1 this year.

Senate Bill 1117 allows additional routes to be designated by the Idaho Transportation Department and by local highway agencies.  House Bill 322 clarifies the intent of the legislation.

Comment will be taken until Thursday, October 24, at 5 pm on four administrative rules related to 129,000-pound trucks.  Among the rules is Administrative Rule 39.03.22-1302, which implements the provisions of SB1117 and outlines the process for considering additional routes for vehicles weighing up to 129,000 pounds. Continue reading

Upcoming Events & Megaload, Fossil Fuel Export, & Coal Resistance News


Fellow climate inhabitants,

UPCOMING ACTIVISM NEEDS YOU!

Tuesday, September 24: No, Actually, We Are The Rising Tide (September 24 Rising Tide North America)

On Thursday evening, September 24, Disney/ABC/Marvel Studios premiered their new TV show Agents of SHIELD, depicting a secret National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security-style agency confronting a “looming threat” known as “The Rising Tide,” a cyber-terror group purportedly like Anonymous with a disturbingly similar Rising Tide logo.  Please read the Rising Tide North America blog, sign a petition calling on Disney to stop portraying grassroots climate activist groups as terrorists, and widely share this opportunity to highlight the REAL work of Rising Tide.

Wednesday, September 25: Millennium Bulk Terminal Rally and Scoping Hearing in Spokane

Participate in the Spokane public rally and scoping hearing about the Millennium Bulk Terminal proposal for Longview, Washington coal export facilities on Wednesday, September 25!  Palouse carpools depart the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) Activist House in Moscow at 1 pm (please RSVP).  A Riverfront Park rally with Backbone Campaign and regional comrades commences at 3 pm.  Doors to the Spokane Convention Center open at 4 pm, and the public hearing runs from 5 to 8 pm.  Please get an online lottery ticket to testify or share, wear red, and voice your concerns about the coal export impacts that county, state, and federal agencies should consider in an upcoming draft environmental impact statement.  For more information, see:

Hearing: Impacts on Spokane of Longview Coal Export Proposal (Coal-Free Spokane)

All You Need to Know about the Longview Coal Export Hearing (Center for Justice)

What Can We Do to Stop Coal Exports in Longview? (Columbia Riverkeeper)

Environmental Review: Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview Proposal (Washington Department of Ecology)

Thursday, September 26: Weekly WIRT Potluck/Meeting

At 7 pm this Thursday at the WIRT Activist House, concerned citizens are meeting to discuss plans to confront possibly impending Highway 95 megaloads and state government policies at Capital for a Day and to organize upcoming events like WIRT’s participation in the University of Idaho Homecoming Parade.  Please bring some food and/or beverages to share and your ideas and energies for creating megaload/tar sands protest signs and other projects.

Thursday, September 26: Northwest Fossil Fuels: Exports and Resistance from Oregon to Alaska

This Thursday at 7 pm, Rising Tide groups from Vancouver, B.C., and Moscow, Portland, and Seattle will host a panel discussion and community forum exploring corporate industry proposals and regional resistance to almost 20 coal, oil, and natural gas export terminals or expansions from Oregon to Alaska.  Accompanying rail and waterway traffic threatens to transform the Northwest into a dirty fossil fuel corridor impacting human, environmental, and climate health.  Together, these projects would release three times the global carbon emissions of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  But a powerful, grassroots, direct action movement has been emerging and organizing across the region against this onslaught.  Join us in conversation and education, including a megaload campaign history presentation, at the University Temple United Methodist Church, 1415 NE 43rd Street in Seattle, at 7 pm this Thursday!  Maybe our Moscow megaload protests will finally garner some broader recognition, albeit as an eternal side-kick to the Highway 12 saga, and people will take to the streets on other megaload routes.

Friday to Sunday, September 27 to 29: Rising Tide Regional Summit

Saturday, September 28: WIRT in the Homecoming Parade 2013: Vandal Pride Planetwide

Global climate change warriors Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allies are marching with our banners, protest signs, and hand-outs in the University of Idaho Homecoming Parade entitled Vandal Pride Planetwide.  Meet with your friends, family, and posters at 9 am on Saturday, September 28, under the Rosauers sign in the parking lot at 411 North Main Street, to parade along Main Street to Seventh Street in Moscow, Idaho.

Sunday, September 29 (tentative): Nimiipuu Against Megaloads Teach-In

WIRT may not be able to notify you from the road about this opportunity to learn and build solidarity with Nez Perce tribal activists opposing megaloads.  If this event happens, organizers may host it between 4 and 6 pm next Sunday at The Cave, 118 Main Street in Lapwai, Idaho, and Moscow/Pullman area carpools will depart the WIRT Activist House at 3 pm.  Please contact Ciarra Greene at ciarrag@nezperce.org for further information about the teach-in.

Monday, September 30: Governor Otter Sets September Capital for a Day in Potlatch (September 19 Governor Otter)

Governor Butch Otter is bringing his monthly Capital for a Day state government crony circus to the Potlatch Senior Center, from 9 am to 3 pm on Monday, September 30.  According to a Moscow official, transportation department director Brian Ness will attend (permitting megaloads and heavier, longer semi-trucks and Highway 95 expansion onto Paradise Ridge,?) as well as tax commissioner Ken Roberts (dismissing property tax on oil and gas wells?) and representatives from the department of lands (allowing fracking in Idaho and drilling around rivers?) and the department of water resources (permitting leaking waste injection wells?).  Like a January 2011 event in Culdesac, maybe we can drop hundreds of petition signatures on their table again or make them call for a break because they cannot stand the debate.  Get ready for exasperating conversations with our state employees about controversial issues and policies.

Tuesday, October 1: Millennium Bulk Terminal Rally and Scoping Hearing in Pasco

Your assistance could help organize coal export resistance in the Tri-Cities!

Saturday, October 19: Global Frackdown (Food and Water Watch)

Action planning by WIRT and Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction for an Idaho event requests your participation. Continue reading

Firm Seeks to Undo Megaloads Ruling


If judge won’t halt suspension, company will appeal

A General Electric subsidiary said a federal judge made several legal errors when he barred megaloads from using U.S. Highway 12, and has asked him to reconsider.

If the request is denied, attorneys for Resources Conservation Company International (RCCI) said they will appeal the ruling by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill that closed the highway to its contracted shipper Omega Morgan and its plans to haul massive water purification equipment to Canadian oil fields via the highway.

On September 12, Winmill ruled against RCCI and the U.S. Forest Service and issued a preliminary injunction ordering the agency to block the loads.  The Nez Perce Tribe and the environmental group Idaho Rivers United requested the injunction.  On September 17, Regional Forester Faye Kruger of Missoula, Montana, issued an order barring megaloads from using the portion of the highway that crosses the forest.

In his ruling, Winmill said the agency’s failure to stop the shipments violated several federal laws, including the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act as well as the Clearwater National Forest Plan.  That ruling was based, in part, on a phone conversation between Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and Nez Perce Tribal Chairman Silas Whitman, in which Tidwell reportedly refused Whitman’s request to block the loads. Continue reading

Tribal Members Opt to Contest Nuisance Beefs


Eighteen of 28 Nez Perce arrested during megaload protests enter denials to charges.

At least 18 of the 28 Nez Perce tribal members charged with creating a public nuisance during protests against a megaload shipment last month will fight the charges in Nez Perce Tribal Court.

At their individual admit-deny hearings on Friday morning, September 20, in Lapwai, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee members Brooklyn Baptiste, 41, Leotis McCormack, 31, Anthony Johnson, 43, Albert Barros, 61, and Samuel Penney, 58, joined Greg L. Crow, 38, Ciarra S. Greene, 24, Delrae Kipp, 44, David F. Penney, Angela R. Picard, 32, Sally R. Rohan, 19, Lucy A. Samuels, 23, Paulette M. Smith, 44, Carla J. Timentwa, 56, and Nicole S. Twomoon, 29, in denying the veracity of the charges against them.

All were arrested following the August 5-8 protests of an Omega Morgan megaload shipment.  The transport firm encountered four nights of protests, while hauling an evaporator through the Nez Perce Reservation on U.S. Highway 12, en route to the Canadian tar sands.

Executive committee member Joel Moffett, 34, did not appear in court on Friday but did enter his denial to the charge, essentially an innocent plea, with Chief Nez Perce Tribal Court Judge Bruce Plackowski.

Executive committee Chairman Silas Whitman, 71, also did not appear in court but “accepted” the charge, pleading guilty and receiving a $100 fine. Continue reading

Tunes with ‘Tude


Jeanne McHale

Jeanne McHale

Galactic Tofu Farmers

Galactic Tofu Farmers

Undiscovered Country

Undiscovered Country

Proceeds from fundraising concert will go to Nez Perce tribal members arrested in megaloads protest.

Area protestors captured national headlines in August by obstructing megaload shipments through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest bound for the Canadian tar sands.  A parade and benefit concert on Friday in Moscow will support and aid those arrested.

“We want to express our appreciation and show our solidarity with the Nez Perce people who worked so hard,” says Jeanne McHale, a member of Wild Idaho Rising Tide and Friends of the Clearwater, two of four Moscow-based environmental groups sponsoring the event.

Several Moscow environmentalists joined tribal members in protesting the use of a wild portion of U.S. Highway 12 as an industrial corridor.  Twenty-eight Nez Perce tribal members were charged on September 12 with public nuisance infractions, after last month’s protests against an Omega Morgan megaload shipment traveling through the Nez Perce Reservation.  Those arrested included eight members of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.  Funds raised will go toward the protest, travel, and legal efforts and expenses of those arrested.

“Moscow has become something of a sacrifice zone for Highway 12.  When things did not go well there, loads came through Moscow,” McHale, a board member of Friends of the Clearwater, says of past protests against megaloads in the area. Continue reading

WIRT Newsletter: Late September Happenings


Late September Happenings

* Forest Service Issues Closure Order for Megaloads on Highway 12 (September 18 Spokesman-Review)

This closure applies only to Omega Morgan megaloads, which may now use Highway 95 instead, and could be lifted by the Forest Service when it completes its corridor impacts review and Nez Perce tribal consultation.

* Cargo Contractors Company Megaload Schematics

A heavy haul transporter based in Compton, California, wants to ship three massive refinery vessels, weighing over 1,100,000 pounds, measuring up to 324 feet long, and requiring two push trucks, from the Port of Lewiston to Great Falls, Montana, by November.

* Weekly Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) potluck/meeting at 7 pm on Thursday, September 19, at the WIRT Activist House, to discuss tactics and strategies for possibly impending Highway 95 megaloads and organization of other upcoming events

* Chasing Ice time-lapse video documentary depicting vanishing global ice cover at 7 pm on Thursday, September 19, at Grace Lutheran Church, 3434 Sixth Street in Lewiston (see the Chasing Ice PSA & Poster)

* Arraignment of  28 arrested mostly Nez Perce tribal megaload protesters on public nuisance infractions (unlawfully obstructing movement on a public highway) at 9 am on Friday, September 20, in Nez Perce Tribal Court, 149 Lolo Street in Lapwai  WIRT is stilling searching for carpoolers from the Palouse: contact us!

* At the Benefit Concert for Nez Perce Megaload Protesters, at 7 pm in the Unitarian Church, 420 East Second Street in Moscow (after the 6:30 parade from Friendship Square), the presence of a New York Times reporter gives us one more incentive to shine and give graciously.  Our small-town party just went big-time, besides coverage through the nationally broadcast, Monday, September 16 Flashpoints interview of Helen Yost.  Maybe our Moscow megaload protests will finally garner some broader recognition, albeit as an eternal side-kick to the Highway 12 saga, and people will take to the streets on other megaload routes…

* Tunes with ’Tude (September 19 Lewiston Tribune Inland 360 article about the benefit concert) Continue reading

Omega Morgan on Highway 95?


WIRT activists, friends, and supporters,

On Saturday, September 14, around Tensed, Idaho, a regional activist spotted an Omega Morgan ‘pole truck’ measuring height clearances on U.S. Highway 95.  Allies have submitted public records requests about the situation that implies that the Hillsboro, Oregon, transport company is considering either moving the second evaporator stored in a warehouse at the Port of Wilma, Washington, or hauling its remaining eight to ten proposed megaloads up the highway to the Hangingstone steam assisted gravity drainage tar sands mining facilities under construction southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta.  Omega Morgan and its contractors would still need to submit the appropriate documents and receive travel permits from the Idaho Transportation Department for such ventures. Continue reading

Cargo Contractors Company Megaload Schematics


As mentioned in the August 27 Lewiston Tribune article, Megaload Ban Could Cost General Electric Millions, the Highway 12 megaload route “continues to attract attention from other shippers.  Leon Franks, of Contractors Cargo Company based at Compton, California, said his company wants to ship three massive refinery vessels from the Port of Lewiston to Great Falls, Montana, by November.  He said the route is vital for the movement of large equipment like refinery vessels, wind turbines, and power plant generators that provide electricity and fuel for a growing population.”

Thanks to the public records requests of our allies, here are the schematics of the three Contractors Cargo Company megaloads, weighing over 1,100,000 pounds, measuring up to 324 feet long, and requiring two push trucks:

43 Hydrotreater Great Falls Montana REV1 CA

43 Hydrtreater Great Falls Montana REV2 Idaho

51 Hydrotreater Great Falls Montana REV3

Benefit Concert for Nez Perce Megaload Protesters


August 5 Nez Perce Blockade - Shannon Jackson

At 7 pm on Friday, September 20, four Moscow conservation and activist groups are co-hosting a benefit concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 East Second Street in Moscow, Idaho.  The event seeks to raise appreciation, solidarity, and funds for the protest, travel, and legal efforts and expenses of arrested Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) anti-megaload activists.  Starting at 6:30 pm after the weekly peace vigil, the Moscow Volunteer Peace Band will lead a parade, perhaps joined by Nimiipuu drummers, gathering participants from Friendship Square through downtown to the church.  The festivities open with original, politically-charged music by Jeanne McHale and assorted singers, including megaload songs and an audience performance of the Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) anthem, The Tide is Rising.  Nez Perce speakers will next describe their megaload resistance, and tribal drummers will share songs and chances to partake in round dances.  The local bands Galactic Tofu Farmers and Undiscovered Country will play original Americana and folk rock music to activate hearts, minds, and feet until 11 pm.  Throughout the evening, the co-sponsors will offer free snacks and inexpensive beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks provided by Mikey’s Greek Gyros and the Wine Company of Moscow.  Wild Idaho Rising Tide, Friends of the Clearwater, Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, and Palouse Group of the Sierra Club welcome everyone to contribute voluntary five dollar or more donations for admission and courageous, arrested Nimiipuu allies. Continue reading