The Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features information about Winter Solstice and its celebration in Sandpoint and news about Dakota Access pipeline resisters and court outcomes in North Dakota, Sabal Trail pipeline opposition in Florida, an oil and gas forced pooling hearing in Boise, potential oil and gas development in the Russian Arctic, and U.S. and Canadian bans of fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies invite everyone to a winter solstice celebration and the December Sandpoint WIRT meeting, one of two gatherings held every month on the first Wednesday in Moscow and on the third Wednesday in Sandpoint. On the December 21 solstice, we are converging at 7 pm in Eichardt’s Pub upstairs game room, 212 Cedar Street in Sandpoint. Join regional climate activists on the first evening of the solar new year for food, beer and wine, and conversations creating campaign strategies and tactics for actions and events supporting the movement against extreme fossil fuels and for clean energy, livable communities, and especially climate justice.
Topics of discussion may include updates, plans, and suggestions for:
* Regional resistance to coal, oil, gas, and tar sands leases, wells, processing plants, pipelines, trains, terminals, and refineries* Ongoing WIRT and allied mobilization of Idaho residents for coordinated, peaceful protests and agency hearings advancing anti-fossil fuels campaigns
* Statewide, January protests of Wells Fargo and US Bank funding of the Dakota Access pipeline, co-hosted with 350Sandpoint and Idaho and Spokane partner groups, in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux, indigenous, and allied pipeline opposition
* Ongoing, monthly, guest presentations and forums, like the successful Olympia Stand and valve turner talks, including a January or February Bringing NoDAPL Home Forum with Idaho and Spokane water protectors
* Local training workshops (ideally a spring, weekend, Idaho Panhandle, direct action and kayaktivism camp) and educational events sharing activist knowledge Continue reading
The Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a recording of the Energy Crossroads Community Forum, held by Northwest groups on November 30 in Spokane, and news about Dakota Access pipeline court outcomes and resistance in North Dakota, a hearing on Texas oil and gas company applications to force pool the fossil fuel resources of 157 Payette County property owners in Boise, and a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway grant to Bonner County Emergency Medical Services in Sandpoint. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
IDAHO WATER IS LIFE! FORCED POOLING IS DEATH!
Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies at 8 am MST on Wednesday, December 14, for the Payette County Forced Pooling Protest on the Idaho Capitol steps at 700 West Jefferson Street in Boise, Idaho. Concerned citizens from throughout Idaho are coming together to stand in support of over 150 Payette County families and home, property, and business owners whom the state of Idaho and a Houston, Texas-based fossil fuel producer are pushing into oil and gas leases for integration, or “forced pooling,” of their private resources [1, 2]. Alta Mesa Idaho (AMI) integration applications to the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission could impose extraction of Idahoans’ oil and gas, with or without their permission, from three new wells, and perhaps many more, on two adjacent, one-square-mile sections of land and another, smaller tract in and near the Fruitland community. With state approval, Alta Mesa and other toxic intruders could directionally drill, hydraulically fracture (“frack”), and chemically “treat” these wells beneath and only 200 feet on the ground from a few hundred subdivision homes and other structures like schools and hospitals, and under, next to, or within less than a mile of the Snake and Payette rivers and their wetlands and floodplains, and below already leased U.S. Highway 95 (See the attached photos of spacing units).
At 9 am on Wednesday, December 14, the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is holding the first administrative hearings on contested AMI forced pooling applications since the Idaho Legislature passed SB1339 in March 2016, the egregious statute that changes and rushes the integration process to benefit the oil and gas industry and trample citizen rights anywhere in the state. The advocacy group Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability (CAIA) has retained constitutional law attorney James Piotrowski, of the law firm Herzfeld and Piotrowski, to represent a group of unwillingly integrated, officially objecting, Payette County mineral owners [3, 4]. In the Lincoln Auditorium, Room WWO2 in the lower level of the Idaho Capitol west wing, integration objectors will challenge the legality of the proposed spacing units and of IDL’s due processes that afford impacted landowners insufficient time and information to consider forced pooling applications and to consult attorneys, banks, and insurance companies about the adverse financial consequences of integration on property rights, values, mortgages, and insurance.
Participate in the 8 am protest and attend the 9 am hearings, continued if necessary at the same locations on Thursday, December 15, to show your support of hardworking, tax-paying, Payette County and regional residents, by serving as protesters, observers, witnesses, and testifiers. Oil and gas industry invasions accommodated by state sanctioned forced pooling could inevitably jeopardize air and water quality and quantity, contaminate ground and surface water, wells, and agricultural lands, and ultimately degrade the sustainability and quality of life in Idaho. Because citizens throughout the Treasure Valley – from eastern Oregon to Twin Falls and in Ada, Canyon, Cassia, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls, Washington, and other Idaho counties – could eventually endure the ravages of these same integration rules, Idahoans should demonstrate with a large turnout, noticed by public officials and media reporters, that a majority of us will confront these injustices that transcend southwestern Idaho. In honor of Dakota Access pipeline resistance supporting the Standing Rock Sioux, it is time for us to rise up on Idaho’s fossil fuel frontlines and protect our waters and lands! Continue reading
The Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, welcomes KRFP board chair and WIRT core activist Al Chidester talking about Dakota Access pipeline resistance, and airs excerpts from a December 4, Moscow forum on civil disobedience led by four tar sands pipeline valve turners. We also share news about a Payette County meeting and upcoming Boise protest opposing Alta Mesa applications to force pool the oil and gas resources of 157 Idahoans, and about Canadian approval of two pipelines bringing one million barrels of tar sands per day into the U.S. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Tar Sands Pipeline Valve Turners: Civil Disobedience
Featuring Leonard Higgins in person and Emily Johnston, Michael Foster, and Ken Ward via Skype
Saturday, December 3, 12 pm to 2 pm, in Eichardt’s Pub upstairs room, 212 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho
Sunday, December 4, 12 pm to 2 pm, in the 1912 Center Fiske Room, 412 E. Third Street, Moscow, Idaho
Public forums and fundraisers co-hosted by #ShutItDown – Climate Direct Action and Wild Idaho Rising Tide
$10 suggested donation for the #ShutItDown legal defense fund
All ages of participants and free admission are welcome.
On October 11, 2016, five brave climate organizers successfully closed the manual, emergency valves of five pipelines carrying oil from the Canadian tar sands into the northern United States [1, 2]. Their unprecedented acts of nonviolent direct action to avert climate cataclysm shut down 15 percent of U.S. crude oil imports for nearly a day.
Emily Johnston, age 50, and retired attorney Annette Klapstein, 64, each interrupted Enbridge’s Lines 4 and 67 pipelines in Leonard, Minnesota. Michael Foster, 52, shut down TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. Leonard Higgins, 64, who locked down to a tar sands megaload in Umatilla in December 2013, halted the flow of Spectra Energy’s Express pipeline at Coal Banks Landing near Great Falls, Montana. Ken Ward, 59, a Climate Disobedience Center and #ShutItDown co-founder, stopped Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in Anacortes, Washington. Continue reading
The Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program, hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, offers news about upcoming, regional forums on the clean energy revolution and the civil disobedience of five tar sands pipeline valve turners, a driller application to force pool the oil and gas resources of hundreds of Payette County, Idaho residents, and Canadian approval of two pipelines bringing one million barrels of tar sands per day into the U.S. We also share a one-hour, November 26, Sandpoint presentation by Olympia Stand activist Brian Wolcott, about the week-long, encamped rail blockade of a Bakken-bound, fracking proppant train from the Port of Olympia, Washington. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Upcoming WIRT November Events
Thanks to Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists, allies, and friends for your patience during a November that opened opportunities for a long-overdue, month-long, event-free break, especially from the rigors of side-job wage slavery. With more time and energy for activism emerging from this healing phase, we plan to soon re-establish a regular WIRT email newsletter and to post WIRT radio program recordings, both drawn from our active facebook page. Please support ongoing WIRT and allied mobilization of regional residents for coordinated, region-wide actions and agency hearings and comment periods, confronting Northwest coal, oil, gas, and tar sands facility and transportation projects. Look for upcoming announcements throughout autumn and winter 2016-17 about participatory events including educational presentations, direct action training workshops, peaceful protests, and benefit concerts that advance our shared anti-fossil fuel/climate change campaigns.
Tuesday, November 29: Comment against the Millennium Bulk (Coal) Terminals
During this last opportunity for public input on Millennium Bulk Terminals, please comment on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and a dredging permit application for the Longview, Washington coal export facility proposed by Lighthouse Resources [1-3]. Before the public comment period ends on Tuesday, November 29, urge the Corps to oppose construction and operation of the largest coal export terminal in North America, and to protect public health and natural resources, by supporting the “no action” alternative of the draft EIS and rejecting the permit application. Millennium’s eight additional, fully loaded, unit coal trains per day and the coal transfer and storage site, annually handling up to 44 million metric tons of coal, would harm the health and safety, air and water quality, and natural resources of communities throughout the Northwest.
As the draft EIS describes, Millennium would receive coal via trains from western U.S. mines and transfer it to Asia-bound, ocean-going vessels, at the 190-acre, leased site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter. Its facilities would include an operating rail track and unloading station, a coal stockpile area and eight-track rail loop for storage, a conveyor and two independent ship loaders, and two new docks to berth Panamax-class vessels. Because Lighthouse Resources seeks to dredge up to 48 acres out to the Columbia River navigation channel, the company has applied for a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.
Between April 29 and June 13, 2016, most of the 250,000 commenters on a separate Millennium draft EIS, issued by the Washington Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County, opposed this coal export facility . But the Corps granted the proposal a favorable review in its federal draft EIS released on September 30. In its 3,000-plus-page document, the agency described potential project damages to air, water, fish, wildlife, and communities, including more train traffic congestion, elevated railroad noise levels, and increased wait times at rail crossings, especially in low-income and minority communities. The Corps held only two public hearings on its draft EIS, on October 24 in Longview, Washington, and on October 25 in Ridgefield, Washington, “to provide the public an opportunity to share its views and opinions” on this last of six proposed coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington [5, 6]. It did not offer hearings beyond the Longview/Vancouver/Portland area for citizens of Montana, Idaho, and eastern Washington, and no one coordinated testifier buses from these areas to the southwest Washington hearings.
An increase in coal trains across the Idaho panhandle would not only pollute our waters, lands, and bodies with coal dust and diesel fumes, it could also take human and non-human lives. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, Idahoans experienced 21 accidents between vehicles and trains at public and private rail crossings of all railroads in the state between August 2015 and July 2016. In the northernmost Idaho counties, four incidents without injuries or deaths occurred at one private and three public crossings in Boundary and Kootenai counties. Two people died at private and public crossings in Bonner County during the last year-plus.
Please join us in working together to stop Millennium Bulk Terminals, by convincing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to NOT approve project dredging, construction, and operation. Send your comments on the Corps draft EIS to http://www.millenniumbulkeiswa.gov/submit-comments.html, and your remarks on the dredging permit application, referencing NWS-2010-1225, by e-mail to NWS.MBTL@usace.army.mil. The Corps will review and consider all comments offered during the public input period.
Wednesday, November 30: Energy Crossroads: A Community Forum
Please attend a forum emceed by Laura Ackerman of The Lands Council, to together learn about, envision, and share the current revolution that is winning a just and equitable shift to a clean energy economy . Speakers include KC Golden of Climate Solutions, Evita Krislock of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, and Gavin Tenold of Pura Vida High Performance Builders. The Lands Council, Climate Solutions, and Gonzaga Environmental Law and Land Use Clinic are co-sponsoring this event, and WIRT and a dozen other Washington and Idaho groups are co-hosting it. Join us at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 30, in the Gonzaga Moot Law Court at the Gonzaga University School of Law, 721 North Cincinnati Street in Spokane, Washington.
Mass mobilization against unnecessarily expanded development, transportation, and dependence on coal, oil, and other fossil fuels in Northwest communities has increased opposition to their unacceptably devastating local and global impacts. Cleaner, local, and more efficient energy options, like solar and wind power and electric vehicles, have simultaneously improved in their availability, use, and price. This crossroads is increasing investments in healthier, stronger, and better communities, resources, democracies, and jobs, all building a brighter, more viable future for all. Thanks! Continue reading
Sandpoint/Olympia Activist Talks about Fracking Sand Train Blockade
Saturday, November 26, 12 noon
East Bonner County Library Room 104
1407 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho
Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies at 12 noon on Saturday, November 26, in Room 104 of the East Bonner County Library, 1407 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho, for a public presentation offered by Brian Wolcott, an Evergreen College student, Olympia Stand activist, and Sandpoint resident. With photos, videos, and descriptions, Brian will talk about the week-long Olympia Stand blockade of a train transporting Chinese fracking proppants from the Port of Olympia to the Bakken shale oil and gas fields in North Dakota, the source of leaky pipeline oil and explosive oil trains. Between November 11 and 18, community demonstrations and an encampment on the tracks expressed solidarity with Native-led Dakota Access Pipeline resistance at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and with indigenous sovereignty movements defending the water, fishing, and hunting rights of local tribes, before riot police injured, arrested, and dispersed blockaders and protesters in downtown Olympia, Washington. For further event information, Olympia Stand media releases, regional and national news coverage of the blockade, and a donation site for arrestees’ legal funds, see the Olympia Stand public facebook group and the event announcement on the WIRT website [1, 2].
WIRT Meeting with Visiting Olympia Stand Activist
Although WIRT did not hold our usual, third Wednesday, monthly gathering in Sandpoint this November, we invite WIRT activists, allies, friends, and contacts to connect and start collaboration with an Olympia comrade during the Thanksgiving break. Converge at 10:30 am for a private, closed-door, WIRT planning meeting, before Brian’s greatly appreciated noon presentation, in Room 104 of the East Bonner County Library. Brian grew up in Sandpoint, and intends to return to the Coeur d’Alene area to organize resistance efforts, when he concludes his Evergreen education. During his weekend visit with his family and hometown, he hopes to share and discuss with old friends and the Sandpoint activist community ideas and decisions about coal, oil, and fracking sand train protesting and monitoring, the role that police play in demonstrations, and any other helpful information.
Eastbound Fracking Proppant Train Monitoring
During most days and evenings, from our office window (a block away from the Amtrak station) and along Sand Creek, WIRT watches and documents westbound, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), unit coal and oil trains crossing downtown Sandpoint. So we are happy to alert regional residents to the additional opportunity to monitor fracking proppant/sand train movements. Olympia Stand and WIRT organizers ask that all of us notice and report to them any groups of a dozen, whitish, covered, eastbound rail cars carrying fracking sand from the Port of Olympia to the Bakken Basin in North Dakota. Traversing the region first as unit trains on a short rail line to a Seattle train yard, then as parts of mixed freight trains on mainline BNSF tracks through Spokane, north Idaho, and the Montana Hi-Line, the hopper cars have a key, confirmed feature of two (not the usual three) square, funnel-like ports on their bottoms. To accomplish this trainspotting and report proppant cars, please view the color and shape, number of cars, and overall train composition in the clear photos and videos of the rail cars provided in these links, especially the Olympian video of the heavily guarded train rolling through Olympia after the blockade [3-5]. Together, Northwest climate and indigenous activists are observing and noting the amount of time typically required for fracking supplies to move from Olympia to Sandpoint to North Dakota. Continue reading
The Wednesday, November 23, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by regional climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features an interview with Bellingham-based, core WIRT activist Herb Goodwin about his participation and arrest at Dakota Access pipeline resistance camps and actions. We also share news about Idaho Transportation Board-approved rules for Highway 12 megaloads, the week-long blockade of a Bakken fracking sand train from the Port of Olympia, Missouri River tunnel drilling and police brutality along the Dakota Access pipeline route, and upcoming, inland Northwest presentations, forums, and solidarity actions. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide fossil fuel resistance and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.