Friday: Tell Idaho Representatives to Vote No on Senate Bill 1339!


On Friday, March 4, at an unknown time, the full Idaho House of Representatives will hold the final vote on Senate Bill 1339 (S1339) [1, 2]. The Senate Resources and Environment Committee passed S1339 to the Senate floor on Friday, February 19, after an Alta Mesa oil and gas company attorney pushed for bill hearing closure, before all of the subsequently angry citizens present could testify.  Only Democrat committee member Michelle Stennett voted against this bill that, if passed by the Idaho Legislature and codified as an emergency law by Governor Otter’s signature, would expedite Idaho oil and gas development permitting procedures and further severely limit due process, associated public input and appeals, and information available to citizens, some forced to develop their mineral interests and most concerned about fossil fuel project impacts to private and public lands, water, air, and property rights [3-5].

According to Betsy Russell’s Eye on Boise, “after a two-hour debate, the Idaho Senate voted 31-4 in favor of SB 1339, a controversial proposal to streamline the process for issuing permits for oil and gas wells. The bill drew close to 100 people to an earlier hearing, most of them opposed…The bill now moves to the House side.  The Senate vote came just after 6:30 p.m. Boise time, half an hour after the Senate had been scheduled to conclude its late-afternoon session, which started at 4:30.  It was the only bill taken up.” [6]  On Tuesday, March 1, the Idaho House Resources and Conservation Committee held a hearing on this industry-promoted bill and passed S1339 on a two-to-one ratio [7].  Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) emailed letters of opposition to both Senate and House committees.

Meanwhile, on Monday, February 22, over 150 citizens participated in a rally on the Capitol steps in Boise, protesting the bill and oil and gas industry and infrastructure abuses of Idaho citizen health, private property rights, and essential air, water, and soil quality, at the Don’t Frack Idaho Statehouse Rally, hosted by Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability [8-12]. Organizing protests and rallies against oil and gas development around the state since 2012, WIRT activists are grateful that more than a few dozen Idahoans are finally displaying widespread resistance.

If the Idaho legislature could possibly defend your interests, please contact all of the state representatives, to oppose full Idaho House floor passage of S1339. See the comprehensive list of representative email addresses at citation 7 and talking point suggestions at the following links [13, 14].  NOW is your last chance to write to or call them on this issue, urging them to vote against this legislation that forces oil and gas development on unwilling land and mineral rights owners and that dismisses the public’s best interests and participation in permitting decisions.  Thank you! Continue reading