While Big Oil is hitting the region on all sides with megaloads these days, admired Nez Perce allies have been saying since Wednesday morning, January 29, that shipments hauled by Everett (Emmert that transported ConocoPhillips half coke drums?), not Omega Morgan, will attempt Highway 12 travel on February 8, through the Middle Fork Clearwater/Lochsa river corridor. Local people will assist by contracting their services, like Terry Jackson, the big, bad-tempered guy with the “Keep Idaho Green $$$” sign in Syringa, who raises wires and lines over the highway for thousands of dollars per job.
Groups like Friends of the Clearwater and Idaho Rivers United, who have been submitting ongoing public records requests, conveyed no awareness of this incursion when asked on Friday. The Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee (NPTEC), mostly arrested during August protests, has also said nothing about megaload plans. No one knows if these likely mammoth trucks are heading to purportedly cheap sources of oil and gas in the Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale fields. It is also unclear whether Everett is moving during the day, like the Vietnamese cylinder, or at night. Thus, planning street parties, human barricades, and civil disobedience with Nez Perce warriors, at the Clearwater River Casino or beyond, has been difficult. But people are mad as hell, willing to stand up to and/or chase the next interloper, while expecting tribal police to defend the Nimiipuu people and lands.
After a Mammoet truck was seen parked in Lewiston on Saturday, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) received a confirmed alert on Sunday morning that megaloads could be coming up Highway 12 on Monday. Because a federal court order and temporary injunction bans only Omega Morgan with rigs over certain dimensions from Highway 12, any company (even Omega Morgan with smaller loads) could slither through the Nez Perce Reservation. We scouted all three Lewiston area ports at dusk on Sunday, missing opportunities for photos. Activists saw nothing except a Mammoet truck hooked up to one of the 1.6-million-pound megaloads, with its nose outside the gate, and three trucks in the former Omega Morgan lot at the Port of Wilma. Like the previously mentioned cylinder, this sneaky Monday load could be traversing Washington via rural routes.
While WIRT and allies prepare a statement of concern for federal agencies, about Mammoet’s “Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive Temporary Overweight Truck Route,” we wonder: If the Federal Highway Administration rejects the Idaho Transportation Department’s and Mammoet’s Highway 95 scheme, would they try to run their three behemoths up Highway 12? Corporate/government shell games are not uncommon in Idaho! So supposedly we should all pose for President Obama and Big Green on Monday evening, February 3, while unknown megaloads rush up a controversial but cherished, wild and scenic river road through Nimiipuu homelands? And while courageous grandmothers who physically confronted expansion of the leaky pipeline source of the largest, non-marine, (tar sands) oil spill in the U.S. unjustly languish in a Michigan jail? No, thanks, find some other posers. We need climate protesters and tribal protectors on high alert and on the frontlines!