About WIRT

The WIRT collective is part of an international, grassroots network of groups and individuals who take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change and to promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis.

Climate Justice Forum: Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal Final Review & Meeting, Newport Silicon Smelter Hearings, Olympia Frack Sand Train Blockade, Montana Valve Turner Trials, Keystone 1 Pipeline Leak, Nebraska Keystone XL Approval, George Monbiot on Climate Change & Capitalism 11-22-17


The Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a recording of British, progressive, political thinker and Guardian columnist George Monbiot, talking about why climate change goes deeper than capitalism.  We also share news and reflections about the final environmental review and Olympia meeting on the Tesoro Savage oil train terminal, public hearings about a proposed, Newport, Washington, silicon smelter, a second, Olympia blockade of frack sand train tracks, the mock and real, Montana, climate trials of tar sands pipeline valve turner Leonard Higgins, a Keystone 1 pipeline leak in South Dakota, and Nebraska approval of an alternative, Keystone XL pipeline route.  Broadcast for almost six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

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Climate Justice Forum: George Monbiot on Climate Change Causes, Fourth Coal Terminal Permit Denial, Spokane Ballot Initiative on Fossil Fuel Trains, Montana Valve Turner Trials, Sandpoint Energy & Jobs Panel 11-15-17


The Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a recording of British, progressive, political thinker and Guardian columnist George Monbiot, talking about why climate change goes deeper than capitalism.  We also share news and reflections on a fourth permit denial for the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export-by-rail facility, the Safer Spokane, Proposition 2, ballot initiative regulating fossil fuel trains, a climate necessity defense mock trial for a Montana tar sands pipeline valve turner, and a Republican-led, panel discussion about climate change, energy, and jobs in Sandpoint.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Fifth Anniversary Coal Train Protests


Please join climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and regional allies for Fifth Anniversary Coal Train Protests on Friday, November 10, from 4 to 6 pm, at the North Division & Ruby Streets ‘V’ in Spokane, Washington, and on Saturday, November 11, from 2 to 4 pm, meeting at Farmin Park to protest elsewhere in Sandpoint, Idaho. Dress warmly and bring your friends, family, neighbors, voices, drums, musical instruments, and signs and banners addressing coal, fossil fuel, and railroad industry impacts on people, places, and the planet. WIRT will provide pizza, beverages, and safe, direct action opportunities at these public demonstrations commemorating the first, November 2012, coal train and terminal protest in Sandpoint, organized by Moscow, Sandpoint, and Spokane activists [1, 2].

Since 2010, the shared resistance of Northwesterners to dozens of proposals for new and expanded fossil fuel infrastructure and transportation projects has halted six planned, coal export train terminals in Boardman, Clatskanie, and Coos Bay, Oregon, and Cherry Point, Hoquiam, and Longview, Washington. In the last few months, the Washington departments of Ecology and Natural Resources have denied essential permits to the proposed, Millennium Bulk Terminals coal transfer facility in Longview [3, 4]. In response, Millennium has filed multiple lawsuits against Washington agencies, and continues to seek county and state land use permits, while a coalition of citizens and conservation groups participates in local, public hearings and celebrations of the company’s likely defeat in this epic, regional struggle against dirty, dangerous coal, to protect healthy air, water, climate, and communities.

But in eastern Washington, north Idaho, and western Montana during 2017, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), Montana Rail Link (MRL), and Union Pacific Railroad have caused eight catastrophic derailments and collisions with resulting deaths, injuries, and destruction, spilled and polluted the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille River watershed with grain, coal, and track washout-released, smelter slurry, dumped additional coal and imposed fire hazards from combusted coal on adjacent communities, through damaging and delayed, wreck clean-ups, spewed ongoing coal dust and diesel emissions from six-plus, empty and fully loaded, daily, coal trains, consequently and cumulatively risking and harming community and environmental health and safety [5-11].

On the summer 2017, Idaho Panhandle, fossil fuels frontline and sacrifice zone, BNSF and Union Pacific constructed double tracks along much of their routes between the Canadian and Montana borders with Idaho and Spokane, Washington [12]. BNSF ran noisy, smoky, pile load tests with a huge crane and heavy equipment, near the popular, recreation area of Dog Beach Park south of Sandpoint, Idaho, in preparation for the keystone project of its regional, railroad corridor expansion: a proposed, second, parallel, 4800-foot-long, rail bridge that could carry more coal, oil, and hazardous materials trains (the Northwest pipelines-on-wheels) over Lake Pend Oreille to Salish Sea refineries and a Vancouver, B.C., coal export terminal [13]. The relentless observations and documentations of WIRT activists, contributing to the #IDoiltrainwatch and #WAoiltrainwatch over several years, by monitoring westbound, unit, coal and oil trains traversing downtown Sandpoint, suggest that BNSF may be planning to build (over our blockading bodies) a second lake span to alleviate the westward bottleneck of increased, Bakken shale oil and Powder River Basin coal train traffic, like the MRL coal trains frequently seen and heard idling for hours, near the trackside, regional, lake water intake and purification plant at the Sandpoint-Ponderay, Idaho, boundary, awaiting eastside access to the current (but soon also doubled), single-track, BNSF rail line through downtown Sandpoint and over the lake bridge [14, 15]. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Alberta Oil Train Derailment, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Climate Activist Necessity Defenses, Spokane Proposition 2 Contentions, Seattle Tar Sands Financer Protests, Montana Fracking, Utah Tar Sands Mine Bankruptcy 10-25-17


The Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on an Alberta oil train derailment and nearby evacuations, the second largest Gulf of Mexico oil drilling spill, climate necessity defenses for Spokane oil and coal train blockaders and Minnesota and Montana tar sands pipeline valve turners, legal and finance contentions over the Spokane coal and oil train ballot initiative, Alta Mesa underpayment of Oklahoma gas royalties, protest disruptions of 100 Seattle bank branches financing tar sands projects, Tongue River Valley, Montana, oil and gas development, and bankruptcy of a long-contested, Utah, tar sands mine.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Idaho Oil & Gas Ordinances & Forced Pooling, Tesoro Anacortes Refinery Megaloads, Washington Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion, Spokane & Minnesota Climate Necessity Defenses 10-18-17


The Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on protective, local ordinances and forced pooling of oil and gas leases in Idaho, Tesoro megaload upgrades of an Anacortes refinery, possible expansion of a northwest Washington, tar sands pipeline, and Spokane and Minnesota court decisions allowing activists’ necessity defense and climate change expert testimony.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Tesoro Anacortes Refinery Megaloads, Moscow Indigenous Peoples Day, Shelley Brock of CAIA on Idaho Oil & Gas Forced Pooling, North Dakota Felony Convictions of Tar Sands Valve Turners 10-11-17


The Wednesday, October 11, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on nine Andeavor-Tesoro megaloads moving from the Port of Anacortes to a March Point refinery, Moscow City Council renaming of Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day, Shelley Brock of Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability on forced pooling of oil and gas leases and development in Idaho, and court refusal of climate change testimony before the North Dakota, felony convictions of tar sands pipeline valve turners Michael Foster and Sam Jessup.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Resist Andeavor/Tesoro Anacortes Refinery Megaloads!


Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists learned on Wednesday, October 4, that Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) and its hauler Mammoet will soon transport nine massive, prefabricated, refinery upgrading components from the Port of Anacortes to March Point, Washington [1-3].  These “module movements” started rolling through Anacortes between Monday, October 2, and Thursday, October 5, off-loaded at the port and transfered multiple times during daylight hours (8 am to 5 pm) to a staging area at R Avenue and Ninth Street in Anacortes.  For their part in this scheme, Washington Department of Transportation crews did some overnight work on Wednesday-Thursday, October 4 and 5, requiring single lane closures and brief traffic holds while preparing to swing some intersection signal lights out of the path of the behemoths.  The first three “superloads” measure more than 30 feet wide and high and 200-plus feet long, but the last six cargos are smaller.

Mammoet is moving only one combination of tractor pull and push trucks, trailers, and pieces of refinery equipment per night during five early morning hours (midnight to 5 am), eastbound along sections of road successively closed then reopened to all regular traffic.  The oversized units will each travel 6.5 miles over minimal hills on Friday night, October 6-7, through Sunday morning, October 15.  During the first hour (midnight to 1 am), they will disrupt R Avenue between the staging area and Washington Highway 20, and according to posted warning signs, impede Highway 20 to March Point Road between 1 and 2:30 am, March Point Road to the North Texas Road intersection between 2 and 3:30 am, and that intersection to the North Texas gate and into the refinery between 3:30 and 4:30 am.  Mammoet must safely cover each segment of the route, from the staging area to its destination, during the designated time slots, or abandon its attempt for the night.

Andeavor claims that, “as part of our Clean Products Upgrade Project, the new modules will enable the refinery to further reduce the sulfur content of its transportation fuels, and meet the new Federal Tier 3 standards to reduce emissions.”  But WIRT encountered other likely deceptive, oil company propaganda concerning sulfur when the last three mining and refining megaloads crossed Idaho and Montana to a Great Falls tar sands refinery in fall 2014.  We believe that these megaloads upgrading the Andeavor refinery at March Point could expand its capacity to process Canadian tar sands, and thus impose myriad harms and forestall transitions to clean, alternative energy sources: Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Longview Coal Terminal Rejection, Derailed Montana Coal Combustion, North Idaho Railroad Expansion & Spill Training, Coal Dust Health Impacts, North Dakota Valve Turner Trial 10-4-17


The Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on Washington state permit rejection of a Longview coal terminal, combustion of derailed coal in Montana, north Idaho rail bridge and track expansion, catastrophic spill training on Lake Pend Oreille, coal dust impacts on human health, and tar sands pipeline valve turner Michael Foster’s trial in a North Dakota court.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Montana Coal Train Spill Cleanup, Denied Coal Terminal Permit, Empty Rail Bridge Test Site, Spokane Train Blockader Hearings, Columbia Gorge Trains Near Wildfires, Idaho Oil & Gas Forced Pooling & Auctions 9-27-17


The Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on belated cleanup of spilled, smoldering coal five weeks after a Montana derailment along the Clark Fork River.  We also cover Washington state agency denial of a key permit for the last, proposed, Northwest, coal train terminal, seasonal conclusion of second, Lake Pend Oreille, rail bridge test work, Spokane coal and oil train blockader court hearing updates, hazardous material trains near Columbia Gorge wildfires, and Idaho oil and gas lease auctions, forced pooling applications, mineral owner objections, and hearings.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Climate Justice Forum: Tar Sands Pipeline Valve Turners Conversation with Wen Stephenson, Spokane Train Blockader Hearings, Second Lake Rail Bridge Equipment Removal, Smoldering Montana Coal Train Spill 9-20-17


The Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a webcast conversation among the tar sands pipeline valve turners and independent author and activist Wen Stephenson, discussing their climate direct action motivated by hope and doom.  We also cover upcoming court hearings of coal and oil train blockader George Taylor in Spokane, equipment removal from the second, Lake Pend Oreille, rail bridge, pile load test site near Sandpoint, and smoldering, uncleared coal at the August 13, Clark Fork River, coal train derailment and spill site in Montana.  Broadcast for five and a half years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.