Megaload Bound for Montana is North of Moscow

A megaload that left the Port of Wilma Sunday is taking a break after encountering peaceful protests in Moscow and Lewiston.

The hydrocracker section bound for a Calumet refinery in Great Falls, Montana, is at the Latah/Benewah county line, about 25 miles north of Moscow, said Idaho State Police Captain Lonnie Richardson.

It will wait to resume its trip until at least this evening, so that its movements can be coordinated with construction farther north along U.S. Highway 95, Richardson said.

The state police officers are being paid by Bigge Crane and Rigging, the contractor hauling the megaload, to travel with the shipment.  Richardson said troopers are there to coordinate emergency responses, make sure other vehicles on the road don’t face significant delays, and to prevent protesters from blocking its progress.

So far, he said, the protesters haven’t presented much of a problem.

Fewer than ten protesters were in Lewiston, some with signs and others with cameras.  In Moscow, he said the opponents numbered about 30, yelled on the sidewalks and held up banners. Continue reading

Megaload Clears Lewiston Grade, Expected in Moscow Late Tonight or Early Tuesday

The megaload haul containing a huge piece of a hydrocracker, equipment for use at a Great Falls, Montana, oil facility, left the Port of Wilma on Sunday night and cleared the Lewiston Grade before pulling off U.S. Highway 95 at mile post 320 at 2:18 am, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.

It’s expected to continue traveling north on U.S. 95 tonight.  It can move between the hours of 10 pm and 5:30 am and is expected to reach Moscow late tonight or early Tuesday.

The haul is 311 feet long, 21 feet wide, and 16 feet, 8 inches high and weighs 926,000 pounds with interconnected trailers and trucks.  An additional 160,000 pounds of towing equipment was required to reach the top of the Lewiston Grade.

Moscow environmental group Wild Idaho Rising Tide is expected to be waiting for the megaload in downtown near City Hall tonight, to demonstrate against the shipment – and its purpose.

(By The Moscow-Pullman Daily News)

Tar Sands Blockade Solidarity Actions

With so many things happening on November 19, Tar Sands Blockade unfortunately was not able to give a proper shout-out to many of our comrades who also did solidarity actions and sent in photos during their Day of Mass Action on November 19.  So with their many apologies, here are the solidarity actions that they didn’t get to post earlier.

Sandpoint, ID – Nov 17

Moscow, ID – Nov 19

Read more: Solidarity Actions

(By Tar Sands Blockade)

Climate Change Resistance Solidarity Action 11-19-12

In conjunction with grassroots climate justice and tar sands co-activists from Canada, the Northeast, Texas, and Utah, near ruptured pipelines and oil spills, and across the continent, regional Wild Idaho Rising Tide members gathered at 5 pm on Monday, November 19, near the Moscow, Idaho, City Hall, for a Climate Change Resistance Solidarity Action.  To recognize and support Tar Sands Blockade’s Mass Action in East Texas on Monday, blocking TransCanada construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,’s march around the White House and rally in Washington DC on Sunday, again denouncing Obama administration backing of the Keystone XL, and over 40 worldwide climate solidarity actions, a handful of stalwart tar sands megaload protesters wore WIRT T-shirts and hoisted the organizational banner and protest signs to compose solidarity photos posted and shared with courageous comrades in the Texas trees and numerous anti-tar sands allies.  The rapid reunion demonstrated the participants’ ongoing resistance of tar sands and fossil fuel exploitation by oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, and TransCanada that are expanding Alberta tar sands mining operations on indigenous lands and associated production and transportation facilities throughout the U.S.  Compelled by the aftershock of Hurricane Sandy, Midwestern crop failures, Western wildfires, the hottest year on record, aggressive corporate development of dirty energy, and presidential campaign silence on urgent climate change issues, American citizens and disproportionately impacted victims of extreme weather disasters and pollution are collectively and increasingly demanding climate crisis resolutions through unconventional methods.

Continue reading

Activists to Protest Oversize Shipment on U.S. 12

A pro-oversize load sign posted at Syringa on U.S. Highway 12 (Idaho County Free Press/David Rauzi photo)

Load set to be in Kooskia on Wednesday

An over-legal shipment will be traveling along U.S. Highway 12 through Idaho County, tentatively set to cross the border into Montana late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

And activists opposing the shipment won’t be far behind.

Read more: Activists to Protest Oversize Shipment on U.S. 12

(By Idaho County Free Press)

Megaload to Travel over Lolo Pass, through Missoula

One very large truckload of Alberta-bound water purification equipment is headed Montana’s way over Lolo Pass.

The shipment was slated to start up U.S. Highway 12 from the Port of Wilma near Lewiston, Idaho, at 10 p.m. PDT Monday.  It’s expected to take four night moves to reach the Montana line.

Barring weather snafus or other delays, the load and an accompanying coterie of pilot and escort vehicles could start moving through Missoula and western Montana after dark on Sunday, according to the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT).

Duane Williams, administrator for MDT’s Motor Carrier Division, said Montana has yet to issue a permit but has approved a plan for the megaload to travel up the Blackfoot River, over Rogers Pass, and into Canada at the Port of Sweetgrass.  That’s the same system of two-lane highways over which a district judge barred Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil of Canada from transporting more than 200 megaloads early this year.

Neither Williams, Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Adam Rush, nor a representative from the transport company, Omega Morgan of Oregon, would say who the coming load belongs to.

Read more: Megaload to Travel over Lolo Pass, through Missoula

(By Kim Briggeman, The Missoulian)

Protesters Object to Tax Dollars Funding the Port of Lewiston

A group of protesters crowded the entrance to the Port of Lewiston Wednesday, chanting and holding up signs in outrage regarding a recent port grant.

Protesters said their anger is directed toward the federal government, who granted the port $1.3 million for the inland port improvement on the Columbia/Snake River System.  Protestors said spending millions of taxpayer dollars for a port that’s not producing jobs or enough shipments is a substantial waste of money.

“The port continues to prove that it is not a job maker and it is in fact a money loser,” said protester Brett Haverstick.  “Even from a common person’s perspective, dock extension makes no sense.  Where is the business?”

Protesters also showed their disapproval of the grant, voicing their concerns about more megaload traffic and the negative impact it inflicts on the environment.  The activists also provided onlookers with informational sheets explaining why they believe the Port of Lewiston extension is a bad idea.

See the video at: Protesters Object to Tax Dollars Funding the Port of Lewiston

(By Whitney Hise, KLEW TV Lewiston)

Transportation Secretary Met By Cheers, Jeers at Lewiston Port

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood traveled up to central Idaho late Wednesday to promote river traffic after spending some time in Boise earlier in the day promoting light rail.

While in Lewiston, LaHood was thanked by local officials, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, and Republican Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for $1.3 million in federal funding to expand the Port of Lewiston’s container dock.  Paper and agricultural products are shipped from the dock to Portland, Oregon, and on to Pacific Rim destinations.

This morning’s Lewiston Tribune reports that LaHood was also met by a half-dozen protesters from the Wild Idaho Rising Tide activist organization.  They disagreed with using more federal dollars at the port, calling it a “taxpayer hoax.”

Read more: Transportation Secretary Met By Cheers, Jeers at Lewiston Port

(By George Prentice, Boise Weekly)

Lewiston Port Project Draws Cabinet Visit

Idaho Senator James Risch, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Idaho Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter, and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo were at the Port of Lewiston Wednesday to promote the expansion of cargo traffic through the port (The Lewiston Tribune/Barry Kough photo).

A group called Wild Idaho Rising Tide protested Wednesday during a visit by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the Port of Lewiston (The Lewiston Tribune/Barry Kough photo).

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hears about effect of $1.3 million dock extension grant

The area’s elected officials got a rare chance Wednesday to thank a Cabinet official on their home turf for the $1.3 million his agency gave to an expansion of the Port of Lewiston’s container dock.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood toured the dock that stands in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, one of the few U.S. communities of about 50,000 that’s more than an hour away from a multi-lane interstate highway.

LaHood answered media questions and heard praise of the grant from Idaho’s governor, senators, and the port president.

The port received a $1.3 million grant in June from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grant program. The money will help the port add 150 feet to its 120-foot container dock, which handles paper and agricultural products. The goods are barged to Portland, Oregon, then transferred to bigger vessels to be shipped overseas. Continue reading