Forced Pooling & Acid Fracking in Idaho

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is completing newsletters about eighth WIRT celebrations, dismissal of our state court case against doubled, north Idaho, railroad bridges, a re-opened, Coast Guard, comment period on that BNSF proposal, and other related topics, delayed by a recent week of long-overdue rest.  But we are sending this 2019, southwest Idaho, oil and gas information first, drawn from WIRT facebook posts and lodged on the WIRT website on April 17, in solidarity and support of a Tuesday evening, April 16, talk in Moscow.

CAIA Presentation in Moscow

The Moscow Sustainable Environment Commission (SEC) will host a Skyped, slide presentation and talk by Shelley Brock of Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability (CAIA) at 7:15 pm on Tuesday, April 16, at the Water Operations Building, 201 North Main Street in Moscow, Idaho [1].  Shelley will discuss oil and gas well issues in Idaho, including landowner and CAIA, legal challenges of state forced pooling/integration processes, by which the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Department of Lands force property owners to lease their mineral resources and rights to oil and gas companies.  Please attend this insightful event and/or contact SEC at or 208-883-7133, for further information.

Forced Pooling Court Decisions & Public Input

“U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill had ruled in August that the Idaho Department of Lands’ procedure for forcing mineral rights from unconsenting owners into pools for extraction violated due process.  After Winmill reaffirmed the ruling on February 1, the state faced a deadline early in March to formally appeal…CAIA, an Eagle-based group which had joined in the suit challenging the forced pooling methods, noted…that the state had opted not to contest Winmill’s ruling…Idaho Department of Lands hasn’t announced next steps to address the due process shortcoming [2].

…Unlike the CAIA-led suit against Idaho gas and oil regulators, the class action complaint filed March 1 in Payette County was brought by [nine local] lessors who signed [six] agreements to lease their mineral rights.  The complaint seeks to end [gas producer] Alta Mesa’s alleged practice of deducting a portion of the producer’s midstream expenses from the lessors’ royalty checks [that the oil and gas leases do not expressly authorize].  It also points to a requirement under the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Act that interest of 12 percent be added to royalty payments not paid within 60 days of their due date…The action is brought on behalf of the class of all ‘persons who are or were royalty owners in Idaho wells where defendants [various Alta Mesa entities and others] are or were the operator…from January 1, 2014 to the date class notice is given…The class claims relate to royalty payments for gas and its constituents (such as residue gas, natural gas liquids, or drip condensate)’” [2].

Despite a Tuesday, April 9, deadline for comments, please write an email to Kourtney Romine ( at the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and blind-copy your input to CAIA (, objecting to the state practice of forced lease pooling that allows oil and gas drilling operations against property and mineral owners’ wishes, and providing suggestions for better processes to protect vulnerable communities from similar, future activities, as prompted by the linked, CAIA, talking points and ideally regulated by proposed rulemaking [3].  If possible, also attend and/or watch the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (IOGCC) hearing at 1 pm on Tuesday, April 23, to pack room EW 42 of the state capitol and/or testify for three minutes about “just and reasonable” terms for future, forced pooling applications that impose inadequate compensation and profound risks on Idaho citizens.  Thanks to Shelley Brock of CAIA for her action alert!

Acid Fracking of Payette County Wells

Since July 2018, Alta Mesa has been matrix acidizing the tight sandstone formation reservoirs reached by Payette County oil and gas wells, with extremely hazardous hydrofluoric acid and xylene, chemically dissolving deposits and stimulating hydrocarbon flow under lower pressures than hydraulic fracturing (fracking), without providing essential information, undergoing application review, and sending final reports on well treatments and waste fluid disposal to state regulators, who did not file an unpublicized, administrative complaint and charges until February 5, 2019.  Meanwhile, IDL and Alta Mesa officials have countered numerous citizen concerns about hydraulic fracturing with public statements like one by Lieutenant Governor Brad Little during a televised, late-October 2018, gubernatorial debate: “There is no fracking in Idaho” [4].  Hundreds of informal, WIRT petition signatures against fracking and associated waste injection wells were stolen from a vehicle within days of that broadcast. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: City of Moscow Mammoet Megaload Workshop 2-24-14

The Monday, February 24, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features the entire recording of the January 15, 2014, public workshop hosted by the City of Moscow about Dutch hauling company Mammoet’s plans to ship the heaviest, longest, and widest ever megaloads in the region on Highway 95 and Interstate 90, through Moscow and Coeur d’Alene.  Representatives of Mammoet, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Idaho State Police, Latah County Sheriff’s Department, City of Moscow Police, and elected officials discussed plans to move the 1.6-million-pound, 441-feet-long, 27-feet-wide industrial transports to the Calumet refinery in Great Falls, where they will triple production of Alberta tar sands heavy crude oil.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST, live at 90.3 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.

Mayor Chaney’s Response to Henry Johnston’s Complaint

Eloquently and perspicaciously as always, Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney defends her Earth Day award to the megaload protesters as Earth Protectors and elucidates their/her motivations and the tar sands megaloads’ impacts.  Thanks to Tom Hansen for extracting her City Council meeting response to Henry Johnston’s derogatory remarks at the May 7 session.

(Video provided by Tom Hansen)

Megaload Protesters Receive Earth Day Award as Earth Protectors

Earth Day Award for Megaload Protestors on April 16, 2012

(Tom Hansen video clip of the following minutes)

Moscow City Council Meeting Minutes 4-16-12

At the April 16, 2012, Moscow City Council meeting, Mayor Nancy Chaney announced her annual Earth Day Award recipients: Colter’s Creek Winery, Doug Wasankari, Matt Dolkas, Moscow High School Environmental Club, Moscow CommUNITY Walk, Gail DeSantis, Palouse Land Trust, and Margaret and Maynard Fosberg. She also recognized the megaload protesters as Earth Protectors. Watch between 41:08 and 45:15 of the videotaped meeting for our mayor’s remarks and community members’ acceptance of the award.

For an audio news version, listen to Mayor Chaney Hands Out Earth Day Awards between 21:28 and 16:52 of the April 17, 2012, KRFP Radio Free Moscow Evening Report, Earth Day Awards.

Chaney to Announce Earth Day Awards

Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney will announce the recipients of the 2012 Mayor’s Earth Day awards at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, during the City Council meeting.  The awards recognize Moscow residents for activities conducive to environmental sustainability.

For information, contact Jen Pfiffner at or 208-883-7123.

(The Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Moscow Mayor’s 2012 Earth Day Awards

Congratulations, Moscow community megaload protesters!

Remember all of those cold and lonely nights that we stood together outside Moscow City Hall and protested the largest, most energy intensive and ecologically destructive industrial project in the world, Alberta tar sands operations?  Our good consciences understood and resisted the myriad environmental and social injustices and pollution- and climate-caused suffering that now results from the Idaho Transportation Department’s permission and our City Council’s acceptance of ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil megaloads rampaging our city streets, state highways, and civil rights.

But a full year of speaking at public hearings, writing letters, encouraging citizen involvement, monitoring overlegal loads, broadcasting updates, offering information to the media, searching for lawyers, and testifying in court managed only to re-route the industrial parade of climate chaos through communities who have yet to overtly display their concerns.  With no other remaining recourse in Moscow, we upheld our most significant redress of our grievances with unresponsive government officials and industry executives, as we publicly protested EVERY megaload passage.

On Monday, April 16, Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney will acknowledge our vigilant and valiant efforts.  At the onset of the regular City Council meeting at 7 pm, our mayor will announce the recipients of the 2012 Mayor’s Earth Day Awards that recognize Moscow residents for activities conducive to environmental sustainability.  Mayor Chaney has requested the honor of our presence in (not outside!) the Moscow City Hall Council Chambers (206 East Third Street) as she commends the megaload protesters of our Moscow community.  Please join us!  For more information, see the Moscow-Pullman Daily News article, the City Council meeting agenda, or contact Jen Pfiffner at or 208-883-7123.

Chaney Criticizes ITD and ISP for Allowing Tar Sands Shipments during Holidays & Imperial Oil Announces Second Phase of Kearl Oil Sands Development in Alberta

Latah County Sheriff deputies received a $4000 check from a project manager of Mammoet, the hauler transporting Imperial Oil megaloads through Idaho to the Alberta tar sands.  The reimbursement covers police costs for escorting the modules on Highway 95 and patrolling protests in downtown Moscow between July 15 and November 1, 2011.  Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney wrote a letter to the Idaho transportation department and state police stating her displeasure with megaloads traveling during the holidays and thus diverting law enforcement attention away from intoxicated drivers, especially after Moscow Police Chief David Duke said last week that shipments would be suspended until mid-January.  Imperial Oil declared on Wednesday that the first phase of its Kearl Oil Sands assembly of megaloads into a bitumen extraction plant starting production next year is 80 percent complete.  The company plans to spend $8.6 billion expanding the second phase of its operations that could produce 110,000 barrels of oil per day in 2015.  Please listen to Chaney Criticizes ITD and ISP for Allowing Tar Sands Shipments during Holidays and Imperial Oil Announces Second Phase of Kearl Oil Sands Development in Alberta between 17:08 and 11:50 of the KRFP Radio Free Moscow Evening Report, Imperial to Double Tar Sands Strip Mines, on Wednesday, December 21, at

Moscow Mayor Unhappy over Holiday Megaloads

City dealing with confusion over Mammoet’s holiday plans

Scheduling confusion in Moscow over shipments of Imperial Oil refinery modules through the city tonight led Mayor Nancy Chaney to issue a letter Tuesday to the Idaho State Police and transportation department chastising the agencies.

It had been Moscow Police Chief David Duke’s understanding last week that contract hauler Mammoet was suspending shipments for the holidays until mid-January, but ISP informed him Monday two loads would come through the city tonight. Continue reading

U.S. 12 Business Owners Question Lack of ISP Escort for Upcoming Megaloads & Exxon Hauler Mammoet Pays Moscow $20,000 for Police Overtime Protecting Tar Sands Shipments

Anti-megaload activist Borg Hendrickson questioned the safety of overlegal Imperial Oil tar sands shipments on U.S. Highway 12 without Idaho State Police escorts, considering the confusing conditions of Imperial Oil/Mammoet transports that caused two recent Highway 95 collisions and of a Weyerhaeuser/Nickel Brothers half-hour delay of a heart-attack victim carried by private vehicle on Highway 287 to the Choteau, Montana, hospital.  She noted that the Idaho Transportation Department allows endless revisions of megaload companies’ traffic management plans after accidents that damage private and public property, but the agency never permanently denies permits after cumulative problems arise.  Imperial Oil’s subsequent resumption of module travel on Highway 95 after the December 6 crash did not provide the public or press with ample time or copies of safety plan changes to review the outcomes of Mammoet’s internal report on failed safety procedures and the Idaho State Police collision investigation that is compromised by conflicted Mammoet/public payments of trooper salaries.  Moscow city police also received $20,000 of ongoing reimbursement for overtime hours spent patrolling megaload protests and crowds that precipitated eight arrests between mid-July and November 1.  Latah County sheriffs have not received similar payment responses to their invoices sent to the Imperial Oil contractor Mammoet.  For more information, listen to U.S. 12 Business Owners Question Lack of ISP Escort for Upcoming Megaloads and Exxon Hauler Mammoet Pays Moscow $20,000 for Police Overtime Protecting Tar Sands Shipments between 20:25 and 11:07 on the KRFP Radio Free Moscow Evening Report, Mammoet Pays for Police, on Friday, December 16, at

Mammoet Pays Up [City Police] for Megaloads

Finance director says $20,664 covers police overtime costs

Moscow received its first payment from Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil contract hauler Mammoet.

The payment reimburses the city for its costs for staffing police officers to handle crowd control since the oil company began transporting overlegal shipments of refinery equipment through the city in July. Continue reading