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The Wild Idaho Rising Tide collective confronts the root causes of climate change by asserting direct actions and promoting locally organized solutions, in solidarity with frontline communities of resistance and an international, volunteer, grassroots network of activists.
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Climate Justice Forum: BLM Spying on Activists, Boise Oil & Gas Lease Protest, & Spokane Ballot on Fossil Fuel Train Fines 7-27-16

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:30
The Wednesday, July 27, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about federal, undercover, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) personnel infiltrating and spying on the anti-fracking movement, the dismissal of the lawsuits against blockaders of Shell’s massive Alaska Arctic drilling rig and support vessels from the Ports of Bellingham and Seattle, the state of Idaho pursuit of quicker oil and gas well production records, the Spokane City Council decision to put a measure on the November 2016 ballot that would fine each coal and oil train car traversing Spokane, and a recorded report by two activists who participated in the July 27 protest of a BLM oil and gas lease auction in Boise.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Keep It in the Ground: Idaho BLM Oil & Gas Lease Protest 2

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 22:30

Activists Call on the Obama Administration to End Fossil Fuel Leases on Public Lands

On Wednesday, July 27, at 8 am, dozens of activists from five regional conservation and climate activist groups are holding a “Keep It in the Ground” (KING) rally and protest of the second Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and gas lease auction of Payette County federal lands and minerals [1, 2].  At its Idaho State Office in Boise, the BLM plans to offer and sell leases for fossil fuel development on 9,242 acres of Sheep Ridge public lands around the producing and plugged-pending-pipelines oil and gas wells in the Big Willow Creek area seven miles north of New Plymouth [3, 4].

This protest contributes toward a growing, nationwide Keep It in the Ground movement concerned about the climate warming and environmental destruction caused by ongoing fossil fuel extraction and consumption.  KING coalition organizations, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and the Sierra Club, are urging President Obama to expand his climate legacy by stopping new oil and gas leases on public lands, just as he did with coal leases.  On June 18, 2016, in Yosemite National Park, the president said that the greatest threat to all national parks is climate change.

Groups across the western U.S. are planning similar “Keep It in the Ground” rallies for upcoming lease sales, like the one in Roswell, New Mexico, that the BLM has postponed, and past demonstrations in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Reno, Nevada.  The organizations co-sponsoring the rally and protest in Boise on July 27 include Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Idaho Chapter Sierra Club, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT).

Educating the public about and confronting southwest Idaho oil and gas development throughout our five years, WIRT members are grateful and relieved to work with other groups joining the too-few activists under great duress at three previous auctions of public lands and minerals since April 2014 [5-10].  We encourage you to accompany us on the frontlines of public lands liquidation to the oil and gas industry, at this fourth oil and gas lease auction protest in Boise.  If you can carpool to and from Boise with other north Idaho activists for this significant demonstration, please contact WIRT by email, phone, or facebook message.

Concerned Idahoans are standing up for their rights on Wednesday, July 27, and telling the BLM that public lands in Idaho are not for sale to dangerous extractive industries overrunning our beautiful state.  Bring your soft signs, banners, and enthusiasm, and meet at 8 am MDT at the southwest corner of the Walmart parking lot, close to Burger King, near West Overland Road and South Vinnell Way in Boise.

Participants will cross Vinnell to the BLM Idaho State Office at 1387 South Vinnell Way (on the left, to the south).  The oil and gas lease auction in the Sagebrush Conference Room begins at 9 am and will likely conclude by 12 noon.  Entering this government building requires presenting photo identification and signing in for the auction (and action!).

Issue Background

On November 20, 2013, the Houston, Texas-based company monopolizing recent Idaho oil and gas development, Alta Mesa, applied to omit BLM lands from a drilling unit in the Little/Big Willow Creek area of Payette County, so it could more rapidly access gas in that unit without the delays of federal environmental review procedures [9, 11].  After years of contention, Alta Mesa signed a communitization agreement for this drilling unit with the BLM on February 3, 2016, and withdrew its federal lands omission application on March 9, 2016, effective March 23, 2016.

The Bureau of Land Management prepared and issued a Determination of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Adequacy and a related environmental review report for its Sheep Ridge oil and gas leases and July 27 auction on March 21, 2016 [4].  But the document discloses that the proposed disposal of public lands and resources does not meet NEPA adequacy requirements.

The owner and/or driller of 16-plus wells in southwest Idaho, Alta Mesa redacted public records released in March 2016 on its Big Willow Creek gas wells that started producing in 2015, likely due to the extended (by law) waiting period for the government then the public to receive this information, respectively six months and one year [12].  The State 1-17 well, first to produce in the Hamilton gas field since March 2014, has apparently not yielded the bonanza anticipated by the state and industry for the young, “tight sandstone,” sedimentary formations under Payette County.

Considering the secrecy surrounding the production records of nearby wells, the low global market price of crude oil, and the North American glut of cheap natural gas, WIRT and allies wonder why a federal public land management agency is hurrying to extract fossil fuels.  Preceded by citizen demands for oil and gas industry accountability and local newspaper articles recommending its transparency, “Idaho is bringing in a team from the interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to audit the Idaho [oil and gas regulatory] program” [13], and even the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is seeking faster and better production reporting, suppressed over five years by the dominating Alta Mesa interests in industry-friendly legislation and rules [14].

Are any or all of these entities concerned that Alta Mesa may already be siphoning publicly owned oil and gas from under BLM lands in Payette County?  Idahoans and Americans must insist that the BLM keep fossil fuels in the ground, especially since the June 28 confirmation by Alta Mesa that one of its six nearby producing wells – the Kauffman 1-9 well drilled and tested in 2014 – is yielding both crude oil and natural gas [15].  The company collects the oil and higher-value, jet fuel-like, liquid natural gas condensate at the Little Willow gathering facility, trucks it to an Ontario, Oregon rail yard, then sends it by bomb trains to refineries in Salt Lake City and elsewhere.  Dry natural gas, the majority of predicted western Treasure Valley production, flows to the Highway 30 processing plant that removes water from gas, to Idaho Power’s Langley Gulch electric power plant opened in summer 2012, and into the interstate Williams pipeline, all near Interstate 84 south of New Plymouth.

The American public owns nearly 650 million acres of federal lands, including national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges that constitute about one third of the United States land area.  These places and their fossil fuels are held in trust for the public by the federal government.  In September 2015, more than 400 groups and individuals called on President Obama to end federal fossil fuel leasing, and on November 4, 2015, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and others introduced legislation to end new federal fossil fuel leases and to cancel such non-producing leases.  Days later, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, saying, “Ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground, rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.”

Co-Hosting Group Statements

Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability opposes the precedent-setting July 27 auction of oil and gas leases on BLM land in Payette County for, but not limited to, the following reasons:

* The BLM has closed off access to tax-paying hunters, anglers, and recreationists in the project area on public lands, yet will allow oil and gas companies to explore, drill wells, and build supporting infrastructure instead.

* Little to no protections are afforded to surface owners whose water, air, soil, property rights, property values, mortgages, health, and safety will be threatened by oil and gas exploration and production of federally held minerals under their homes and farms.

* Exploration and drilling activities, which can include potential chemical “treating” and hydraulic fracturing of wells, and equally dangerous, supporting infrastructure all present profound risks to the environment, vital water resources, and the health and safety of livestock and wildlife within the impact area.

Great Old Broads for Wilderness supports keeping fossil fuels in the ground.  It is our best chance to keep global temperatures and the Earth’s vital signs from reaching a tipping point.  Fossil fuel corporations must not be allowed to shift the costs of climate disruption to society, while reaping profits from public lands.

Idaho Chapter Sierra Club

* The science is clear that the extraction and burning of dirty fuels is threatening our climate, our health, our environment, and our national security. From lung and respiratory illness, to incurable diseases that are predicted to rise due to climate change, to rising sea levels threatening resources and communities, to a rise in humanitarian disasters, we must take immediate action to stop climate change.

* Instead of more fossil fuel extraction, we should be building a 21st century transportation system and investing in the kind of clean energy that will create jobs and infuse new life into our economy.

* As we leave dirty fuels in the ground, we must continue to invest in clean and renewable forms of energy.

* We’ve begun to see the transition to clean and renewable energy for years now. From solar to wind and beyond, we can and must keep improving to protect our climate and prevent the worst effects of climate disruption from occurring. But we cannot do this without a just transition from dirty fuels to clean energy.

* Tens of thousands of Americans work in the fossil fuel industry. We should support these workers who have helped power this country. We must work with them, their unions, and their communities to negotiate a well-planned, fair and just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Working together, we can and must protect their livelihoods. We must make the investments to ensure their communities have plenty of new clean industries that provide family sustaining careers, that they get the training they need to fill those jobs, and that they can support their families in the meantime.

* A just transition also means that the fossil fuel industry is held accountable for cleaning up work sites, so communities are left with usable land and clean water and air.

* This transition will not occur overnight, but keeping dirty fuels in the ground and protecting our public lands and waters to prevent the worst effects of climate change is the right place to start.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

This second instance of the BLM auctioning off and leasing federal public lands and resources in Payette County for corporate oil and gas exploration, extraction, infrastructure, and profit imposes on Treasure Valley residents, Idahoans, and the global community predictable and cumulative impacts.  This liquidation of public assets to the fossil fuel industry could contaminate ground and surface water and agricultural lands, release toxic air pollution and greenhouse gases from flaring, venting, and processing, compromise public, wildlife, and environmental health and safety, and ultimately exacerbate ongoing climate chaos that challenges human survival.  The BLM should cancel this auction and expect increasing citizen resistance to such destructive development schemes.

[1] Keep It In The Ground Rally (KING), Citizens Allied for Integrity and Accountability facebook event

[2] BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest, Idaho Chapter Sierra Club

[3] On July 27, the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM)…, June 1, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post

[4] Sheep Ridge Oil and Gas Lease Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA), March 21, 2016 U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management

[5] Idaho Gas Lease Auction Protest, Petition, and Preparation, April 11, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[6] Idaho Gas Lease Auction Protest and Petition Report, April 17, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[7] Statewide Gas Lease Auction Protests, October 7, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[8] Statewide Gas Lease Auction Protests 10-15-14, October 23, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[9] Idaho BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest, May 26, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[10] WIRT Newsletter: BLM Oil and Gas Lease Protest Report and Postponed State Auctions, Integration Applications, and WIRT Meetings, July 3, 2015 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[11] See the Part about Other Note…, May 24, 2016 Jennifer Eisele facebook post

[12] Public Records Released by Oil and Gas Exploiter Alta Mesa…, June 1, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post

[13] Transparency Would Benefit Idaho’s Oil and Gas Industry, and Idahoans, July 7, 2016 Idaho Statesman

[14] Idaho Officials Want Gas and Oil Production Records Sooner, July 21, 2016 Spokesman-Review

[15] Idaho Has Become an Oil-Producing State, June 28, 2016 Idaho Statesman


Filed under: Alerts, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Washington City Bans of Fossil Fuel Infrastructure, Tesoro Refineries Pollution Settlement, & SW Idaho Oil & Gas Resistance 7-20-16

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 11:00

The Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about Spokane and Vancouver, Washington bans and fines of fossil fuel transportation and infrastructure, a federal settlement with six Tesoro refineries to reduce air pollution emissions and violations, resistance to southwest Idaho oil and gas development and a federal lease auction, and other topics.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

#StopOilTrains in Idaho Week of Action Report

Mon, 07/18/2016 - 01:00

Candlelight vigil and march to honor Lac-Mégantic oil train victims, led by Wild Idaho Rising Tide from Farmin Park, Sandpoint, on Tuesday evening, July 12, 2016

On July 9 to 12, three north Idaho climate activist groups staged four events for the #StopOilTrains in Idaho Week of Action, joining thousands of people in continent-wide commemorations of the three-year anniversary of 47 lives lost to a Bakken crude oil train derailment, explosive fire, and lake spill in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013 [1 photos, 2-6]. Their successful actions encouraged and enhanced frontline vigilance and resistance to volatile, climate-wrecking oil trains traversing the Idaho Panhandle on Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Union Pacific rail lines, from the Alberta tar sands and fracked Bakken shale fields to West Coast refineries, power plants, and ports.

Under rainy skies on Saturday morning, July 9, seven community members attended a social gathering hosted by 350Sandpoint in City Beach Park in Sandpoint. Participants stood around a table under a pavilion tent, networked, and distributed relevant information about climate change issues addressed by various, allied, local groups.  Focused on education, organizers welcomed everyone to suggest public events that they could coordinate.

At Moscow Farmers Market on the same Saturday, Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC) members talked with dozens of visitors of their outreach table at Friendship Square in Moscow, where they circulated fliers about the Lac-Mégantic disaster and displayed a poster with the written memories of local 2103 Tar Sands Healing Walk participants hearing about the tragedy while attending the First Nations ceremonies in Alberta. Moscow activists also gathered signatures for a petition to Governor Otter asking for his support of “all efforts to prevent oil and coal trains from passing through the state of Idaho” for health and safety reasons.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) offered a Skyped oil train watch workshop, presented by Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network in Washington, on Saturday afternoon, July 9, at the East Bonner County Library in Sandpoint. Seven regional citizens learned methods for widespread, track-side monitoring, documenting, and reporting of Northwest oil train passage during Matt’s third interactive training session in the inland Northwest.  Two Occupy activists traveled 75 miles to participate in the workshop, and may provide a fourth session for their Spokane comrades.

To honor the 47 Lac-Mégantic oil train victims, WIRT and 350Sandpoint held a candlelight vigil and march with protest signs through downtown Sandpoint, from Farmin Park to the BNSF rail line near the Amtrak station, on Tuesday evening, July 12. Despite the solemn spirit of the hour-long demonstration, city and railroad police dogged the seven concerned residents of the vulnerable, rural Idaho, oil train corridor throughout the event.  After walking the quiet streets and sharing personal stories and reflections, half of the participants did not finish at the tracks.

350Sandpoint, PESC, and WIRT are deeply grateful for the friends, neighbors, and partner organizations who together contributed their efforts toward the #StopOilTrains in Idaho Week of Action. In appreciation of them, the victims of catastrophic oil train derailments, fires, and spills in Lac-Mégantic Quebec, Mosier Oregon, and dozens of other impacted communities, and the 15,500-plus residents of the mile-wide, Bonner County, Idaho oil train route “blast zones,” we are calling on Idaho government officials to end all coal and oil train transportation through the state [7-10].

As the oil and railroad industries continue to propose and build new and expanded infrastructure to extract, transport, refine, and burn oil, tar sands, coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels throughout Canada and the United States, they increasingly and recklessly risk and damage public and environmental health and safety and the global climate. These companies withhold the travel logistics of their mile-long, multi-million-gallon train loads of flammable crude oil and other hazardous and toxic cargo from under-prepared emergency responders, elected officials, and affected communities.  Years-long requests for better information, federal regulations, and inspection standards have failed to improve the safety of inherently dangerous fossil fuel railroad traffic.

The sudden derailment, oil spill, and fire imposed by a Union Pacific oil train on the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, Oregon, on June 3, 2016, prompted representatives at every level of government in Oregon and Washington to call for an immediate but temporary ban on unit crude oil trains in their states. Idahoans must demand a similar moratorium and seek resolution of environmental injustices wrought by extreme energy profiteers, through creative, strong, fossil fuel resistance that protects lives, home places, and livelihoods from the threats of coal and oil trains and their resulting air, water, and soil pollution and climate change.  We must enforce our rights to a healthy and safe environment and climate, and independently monitor and protest westbound oil and coal rail traffic through Idaho, particularly around water bodies bordered or crossed by tracks carrying sinkable tar sands crude [11].  And we must continue to reject proposed train terminals in Boardman, Oregon, and Anacortes, Cherry Point, Grays Harbor, Longview, and Vancouver, Washington.

[1] Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action 7-9&12-16, July 14, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos

[2] Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[3] Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook event

[4] July 6-12: Week of Action to #StopOilTrains in Idaho, July 6, 2016 Earth First! Newswire

[5] Join Thousands of People across North America to #StopOilTrains! Stand.Earth

[6] Vigils and Protests Mark Anniversary of Fatal Oil Train Disaster: Events in 60 Cities and Letter to President on Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Stand.Earth

[7] Letter from Lac-Mégantic: July 6, 2016…, July 17, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post

[8] Thanks to Tyson Waldo and Alex Ramel…, July 4, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post

[9] Oil Train Blast Zone, Stand.Earth map

[10] North American Crude by Rail, Oil Change International map

[11] An Independent, 24/7, Train Video-Watch North of Seattle…, July 7, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post


Filed under: Actions, Coal/Oil Trains/Ports
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Lac-Megantic Tragedy Commemorations, Quinault Oil Terminal Demonstration, #StopOilTrains Week of Action, BLM Lease Auction Protest 7-13-16

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 11:00

The Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about three-year anniversary commemorations of the Lac-Megantic oil train tragedy, the Quinault Indian Nation’s demonstration against Grays Harbor oil terminals, #StopOilTrains Week of Action protests throughout the Northwest, and upcoming resistance to a BLM oil and gas lease auction and nuclear waste in southern Idaho.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

8 pm Tuesday, July 12: #StopOilTrains Candlelight Vigil & March in Sandpoint

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 04:00

PLEASE JOIN US on Tuesday, July 12, at 8 pm, starting from the Farmin Park clock in Sandpoint, for a candlelight vigil and march commemorating the 47 lives lost to a fiery oil train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013 [1-3].  Regional climate activist groups Wild Idaho Rising Tide, 350Sandpoint, and allies encourage you and hundreds of concerned area citizens to participate and bring candles (we can provide some), protest signs, ideas for creative street theater, and reports and reflections on life in a vulnerable, rural, Northwest oil train corridor.

“The Week of Action includes events in dozens of cities and towns. In Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, residents gathered on Saturday, July 9, to honor the 47 people who perished in the fire.  ‘These are solemn events,’ says Marilaine Savard, a resident of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.  ‘Once an oil train derails and catches fire, you and your town will never fully recover.’” [4, 5]

In Bonner County, Idaho, over 15,500 people live in oil train “blast zones,” under the increasing threat of potential derailments, spills, explosions, and fires of mile-long crude oil trains hauled by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railway from the Alberta tar sands and Bakken shale oil fields to Pacific Rim refineries and ports [6-8]. Currently, 8,419 people reside within one half-mile of the tracks, and another 7,087 people live between one half-mile and one mile of the rail lines in the county.  #StopOilTrains in Idaho Week of Action events emphasize and seek to resolve this environmental injustice.

We will report soon on #StopOilTrains Week of Action demonstrations in Lac-Mégantic, the Northwest, and Idaho, as the movement against fossil fuel exacerbation of climate change grows. The Quinault Indian Nation hosted the likely largest anti-oil train gathering during the last week, on Friday, July 8, when more than 600 tribal members, neighbors, and regional allies attended [9].  Together, they boated, marched, and rallied to call on the City of Hoquiam to reject proposed crude oil terminals in Grays Harbor, Washington.

Hoping to see you on Tuesday evening: Thanks!

[1] Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[2] Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook event

[3] July 6-12: Week of Action to #StopOilTrains in Idaho, July 6, 2016 Earth First! Newswire

[4] Join Thousands of People across North America to #StopOilTrains! Stand.Earth

[5] Vigils and Protests Mark Anniversary of Fatal Oil Train Disaster: Events in 60 Cities and Letter to President on Stop Oil Trains Week of Action, July 5, 2016 Stand.Earth

[6] Thanks to Tyson Waldo and Alex Ramel…, July 4, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post

[7] Oil Train Blast Zone, Stand.Earth map

[8] North American Crude by Rail, Oil Change International map

[9] On Friday, July 8, the Quinault Indian Nation…, July 11, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post


Filed under: Alerts, Coal/Oil Trains/Ports
Categories: Climate Change

Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 13:30

Groups stage week of action to #StopOilTrains in Idaho

Continent-wide demonstrations mark three-year anniversary of Lac-Mégantic explosion

North Idaho activists invite the public to join them at four events on July 9 and 12 commemorating the 47 lives lost to a Bakken crude oil train derailment and explosion in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, on July 6, 2013. During the three years since this tragedy, dozens of similar, fiery accidents have risked and wrecked public and environmental health and safety and the global climate – more than in the previous four decades – including the Union Pacific oil train derailment, spill, and fire in the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, Oregon, on June 6, 2013.

In response, Sandpoint and Moscow groups 350Sandpoint, Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide are participating with thousands of people across North America in the July 6 to 12 ‪#‎StopOilTrains Week of Action.* Partner organizations providing event support around the continent include 350.org, Credo, Sierra Club, Sightline Institute, Oil Change International, and Waterkeeper.

The 25 million Americans within the mile-wide blast zones of potentially catastrophic oil train explosions and resulting toxic air and water pollution have rights to know about and ban crude oil trains that are inherently too dangerous for the rails. In the Idaho Panhandle, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad both carry volatile Alberta tar sands and fracked Bakken shale oil.  But oil and railroad companies fail to share information about oil train logistics with under-prepared emergency responders, elected officials, and affected communities.  These industries also continue to build new and expanded infrastructure to extract, transport, refine, and burn oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels throughout Canada and the United States.

Along the paths to extreme energy profit around the Pacific Rim, communities recklessly endangered by such hazardous train cargo are increasingly protecting their lives, homes, and livelihoods from the risks and environmental injustice of oil train traffic and subsequent climate change. Elected leaders at every level of government support their resistance.  After the Mosier incident, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, some of both state’s Congressional delegates, the Spokane City Council, and the Washington State Council of Firefighters all requested an immediate ban on oil trains until federal regulators enforce stronger standards improving the safety of mile-long, multi-million-gallon train loads of explosive crude.

Through #‎StopOilTrains in Idaho Week of Action events and a petition, north Idaho groups are calling on fellow residents and government officials to end all oil train transportation. 350Sandpoint is hosting a social gathering at 9 am on Saturday, July 9, near the City Beach Park gazebo in Sandpoint.  Its members welcome everyone to bring refreshments, friends, and relevant, local information to distribute.  Jean Gerth of 350Sandpoint explains that “We are a global movement of citizens working to solve the climate crisis by organizing to transform our local communities.  Our focus is education and local networking around climate change issues.  But as 350.org so elegantly states: ‘Any movement that isn’t fun isn’t worth being a part of.’”

The Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC) is converging at its Moscow Farmers Market outreach table at Friendship Square in Moscow at 11 am on Saturday, July 9, to remember the Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster and support the Quinault Tribe’s Shared Waters, Shared Values event on Friday. Pat Rathmann of PESC notes that “We will have a petition for folks to sign in opposition to coal and oil trains traversing Idaho.  Members of our group who marched in the Tar Sands Healing Walk in Alberta when the Lac-Mégantic accident occurred have written some of their thoughts to share.”

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is hosting an oil train watch workshop, presented by Matt Landon of Vancouver Action Network in Washington, at 3 pm on Saturday, July 9, in the East Bonner County Library meeting rooms 101 and 102 in Sandpoint. Matt’s ongoing training sessions feature methods for widespread, track-side monitoring, documenting, and reporting of Northwest oil train passage.  The regional climate activist group WIRT is also leading a candlelight march and vigil, to honor the Lac-Mégantic oil train victims, starting from the Farmin Park clock in Sandpoint at 8 pm on Tuesday, July 12.  WIRT encourages concerned area citizens to bring protest signs, ideas for creative street theater, and stories and reflections on life in a rural, vulnerable, oil train corridor.

* Join Thousands of People across North America to #StopOilTrains!

PDF attachment: Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action Flyer

About Wild Idaho Rising Tide: The WIRT collective confronts the root causes of climate change by asserting direct actions and promoting locally organized solutions, in solidarity with frontline communities of resistance and an international, volunteer, grassroots network of activists.


Filed under: Alerts, Coal/Oil Trains/Ports
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: #StopOilTrains Week of Action, City Bans of Oil Trains & Coal Ports 7-6-16

Tue, 07/05/2016 - 13:00
The Wednesday, July 6, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about #StopOilTrains Week of Action events and upcoming, summer, indigenous and climate activism, city bans of Northwest crude oil trains and an Oakland coal export facility, and other topics.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: NW Oil Train Moratorium Requests, EFSEC Oil Terminal Hearings, Payette County Oil Discovery, Gulf of Mexico Fracking Permits 6-29-16

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 11:15
The Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about government, tribal, and public calls for a moratorium on Northwest oil trains and Washington EFSEC hearing denial of the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver, discovery of oil in the Payette County, Idaho Willow gas field, Obama administration approval of over 1500 fracking permits in the Gulf of Mexico, and other topics.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

WIRT & Allied Summer Events

Wed, 06/29/2016 - 10:40

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) recently updated the WIRT Events Calendar, posting dozens of summer, climate and indigenous activism events on the WIRT website [1].  Please visit this page often for links to further information and descriptions of upcoming events involving you in grassroots resistance to the root causes of climate change.  We will soon announce plans discussed with allies for the Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, including a Skyped train monitoring workshop and demonstrations against Northwest oil trains and terminals.

During this summer 2016 season, we are advancing ongoing WIRT and allied mobilization of regional residents for coordinated, region-wide actions and agency hearings on Northwest coal, oil, gas, and tar sands leases, wells, processing plants, refineries, terminals, and trains.  We are grateful to provide trainspotting and kayaktivist trainings, direct action workshops, educational presentations, peaceful protests, informal convergences, and other activities that expand the Northwest movement against extreme energy and for a livable future.

Please participate in WIRT’s twice-monthly potluck/pub meetings at 7 pm every first Wednesday at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 E. Second Street in Moscow, Idaho, and at 7 pm every third Wednesday at Eichardt’s Pub upstairs game room, 212 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Call 208-301-8039 for agendas, carpools, and directions for these gatherings and other events across the region.

To keep WIRT activists informed about anti-fossil fuel campaigns, we host the weekly Climate Justice Forum radio program on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, live at 90.3 FM and online [2, 3].  The show covers continent-wide climate and indigenous activism and community opposition to dirty energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Opportunities for your creative resistance to climate change perpetrators call for your participation:

June 29: Safer Spokane Summit on Wednesday at 7 to 9 pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, 4340 W. Fort George Wright Drive in Spokane, Washington [4]

July 5: WIRT First Tuesday Moscow Monthly Meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 E. Second Street in Moscow, Idaho

July 6-12: Stop Oil Trains in Idaho Week of Action, part of Stop Oil Trains Now Week of Action commemorating the Lac Megantic oil train tragedy, on Wednesday to Tuesday dates, times, and locations to be announced, in Sandpoint, Idaho [5]

July 8: Shared Waters, Shared Values March and Rally led by the Quinault Indian Nation, rejecting crude oil terminals at Grays Harbor, Washington, on Friday at 12:30 pm, when a boat parade leaves the northwest end of Rennie Island, and at 1:30 pm, when a land march departs the Ninth Street Dock and Park at Levee and Ninth Streets for a 3 pm rally at Hoquiam City Hall, 609 Eighth Street, followed by a 4 pm seafood meal at a location to be announced, all in Hoquiam, Washington [6]

July 20: WIRT Third Wednesday Sandpoint Monthly Meeting on Wednesday at 7 pm, at Eichardt’s Pub upstairs game room, 212 Cedar Street in Sandpoint, Idaho

July 27: Protest of Bureau of Land Management Oil and Gas Lease Auction of the Sheep Ridge federal lands around Little Willow gas wells in Payette County, Idaho, on Wednesday at Boise, Idaho locations and times to be announced

July 29: EFSEC Adjudication Public Hearing and Rally on the last day of the five-week Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council hearings on the Vancouver Energy oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver, Washington, on Friday at 12 noon, at the Columbia Tech Center at Clark College, 18700 SE Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, Washington [7, 8]

August 3: WIRT First Wednesday Moscow Monthly Meeting on Wednesday at 7 pm, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 E. Second Street in Moscow, Idaho

August 17: WIRT Sandpoint Office Open House on Wednesday at 7 pm, at 301 N. First Avenue, Suite 209B, in Sandpoint, Idaho

August 26 and 27: Panhandle Paddle on Friday at a 4 pm sign preparation party at the WIRT Sandpoint office, on Saturday at 9 am at the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint WIRT outreach table in Farmin Park, and on Saturday at the 2 pm land rally and kayaktivist flotilla at City Beach Park, all in Sandpoint, Idaho; also on Saturday at 11 am, when Palouse area carpools depart the Rosauers sign and parking lot in Moscow, Idaho

August 28: Fourth Totem Pole Journey of the Lummi Nation House of Tears Carvers on Sunday at a time to be announced for a blessing ceremony in City Beach Park, 102 Bridge Street in Sandpoint, Idaho [9]

 

[1] Events Calendar, Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[2] Climate Justice Forum, Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[3] KRFP Radio Free Moscow, KRFP Radio Free Moscow

[4] Safer Spokane Summit, Safer Spokane

[5] Stop Oil Trains Now Week of Action, Stand

[6] Shared Waters, Shared Values March and Rally, Quinault Indian Nation

[7] At 8:30 am on Monday, June 27…, June 23, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide facebook post

[8] Broad Opposition to Tesoro-Savage, June 27, 2016 ECOreport

[9] Lummi Totem Pole to Journey through Sandpoint, April 27, 2016 Idaho Conservation League


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Oil Train Blockade & Moratorium Requests, Utah Tar Sands Mine Arrests, Spokane Healthy Climate Citizens Initiative 6-22-16

Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:00
The Wednesday, June 22, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about the June 18 Vancouver, Washington oil train tracks blockade, calls for a nationwide moratorium on oil trains by Oregon government officials and agencies, arrests at the June 11 field studies and June 19 reclamation actions at the Utah tar sands mine, and a Spokane physician’s filing of a healthy climate citizen rights initiative amending the city charter.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Mosier Mayor, Residents, & Activist, Union Pacific Snafus & Grants, Millennium Bulk Terminals Public Input 6-15-16

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 13:00

The Wednesday, June 15, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features June 9 conversations with Mosier, Oregon Mayor Arlene Burns, Mosier residents Silas Bleakley and Brent Foster, and Peter Cornelison of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, about the June 3 Union Pacific oil train derailment, explosion, and fire in the Columbia River Gorge.  Other topics include Union Pacific rail operation violations in Oregon and grants to Sandpoint area organizations and Millennium Bulk Terminals public comments and hearings on the last proposed Northwest coal export facility.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Comments Due June 13 on Last, Largest Coal Terminal

Sun, 06/12/2016 - 08:45

With the May 9 victory of the Lummi Nation over the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal port in Longview, Washington, 460 miles from Sandpoint, Idaho, could become the largest such facility in North America. Please speak out against the many direct impacts that its eight additional, fully-loaded, daily coal trains would impose on Idaho public and environmental health, by sending your written comments to Washington officials before the 11:59 pm PDT June 13 deadline.  Reference the attached Power Past Coal Millennium Bulk Terminals DEIS Talking Points and the previous Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) action alert [1].

Thanks to ongoing, inspiring work by a diverse spectrum of grassroots climate activists to mainstream environmental groups, thousands of regional residents participated and testified at three public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement for this last of six proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest [2, 3]. Three cheers for the dozens of die-hard, anti-coal organizers from across Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, who coordinated participation and arranged carpools for these hopefully historically last public hearings and rallies against Northwest coal trains and ports.

Community members including WIRT representatives attended a 4 pm rally and expressed valid concerns about fossil fuel impacts through their testimony between 1 and 9 pm at the Thursday, May 26 hearing at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Washington [4]. Bravo to Jacob Johns and other event participants from Spokane and northern Idaho, who blasted the basics of the folly of approving, permitting, building, and operating the Millennium carbon bomb [5]!  We enjoyed sharing the adventure of fossil fuel resistance with co-workers and friends in Spokane, during and after the public proceedings, especially while learning that Arch Coal withdrew its interest in this coal port project [6]:

“The second largest coal company in America and last big name in the coal export game…handed over its 38 percent share in the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, Washington, to the project’s last remaining supporter, Lighthouse Resources – a company that used to be called Ambre Energy North America…Arch itself declared bankruptcy in January…Given the dismal outlook for coal exports, the bankrupt company simply couldn’t bear the ongoing cost of keeping the project alive…Arch’s exit leaves precisely one player in the coal export game in Washington and Oregon: Lighthouse Resources, which now stands as the only backer of Millennium and which also hopes to resuscitate its nearly-defunct Morrow Pacific project in Oregon. Lighthouse owns a pair of struggling coal mines, one in Wyoming and the other in Montana, and its entire business model hinges on exporting coal into seaborne markets that are now badly oversupplied with cheap coal.”

Thanks to Spokane anti-coal/oil guru Laura Ackerman of The Lands Council, WIRT also participated in, recorded, photographed, and testified at the 1 to 9 pm, industry-dominated hearing and 4 pm coal opposition rally on Thursday, June 2, at the TRAC Center in Pasco, Washington [7, 8]. About 80 blue-shirted, pro-coal-jobs lackeys and 50 red-clad Earth defenders testified to Washington Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County, Washington officials, about the Powder River Basin coal train terminal proposed for Longview, Washington.  As one lone Idahoan again, WIRT is grateful for the honor and pleasure of standing with scores of knowledgeable, warm-hearted, and intrepid comrades from across Washington, as we gathered, conversed, testified, and rallied in Pasco.  The WIRT emblem on a T-shirt even appeared in a Tri-City Herald and Bellingham Herald news article photo of the rally, with this caption that missed Walla Walla elder Cathy Sampson-Kruse flashing a peace sign [9, 10]:

“Opponents Chris Howard of Walla Walla, from right, Helen Yost of Sandpoint, Idaho, and Daeuthen Dahlquist, 11, of White Salmon, cheer during a Thursday rally outside the third and final hearing on the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal at Longview, held at the TRAC facility in Pasco. See a video at tricityherald.com/video.”

The most salient display of industry and government disregard for genuine public input occurred toward the end of the Pasco hearing convened on traditional Yakama tribal lands. Hearing moderators cut off testimony by Mathew Tomaskin, the legislative liaison of the Yakama Nation, while he disclosed that the Washington Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County had not consulted the tribe about the proposed coal export terminal and associated trains [11, 12].  When he talked beyond two minutes, as he had initially stated that he would, moderators rudely interrupted him, silenced his microphone, and called for a hearing break.  Much of the audience stood in support of Mr. Tomaskin, who did not receive the respectful treatment deserved by his dignified representation of a sovereign nation.

Thanks for commenting on this potentially climate-wrecking fossil fuel infrastructure!

[1] Last, Largest Coal Port DEIS Hearings, May 26, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[2] Millennium Coal Hearing in Longview, Washington Draws 1K+ Attendees, May 25, 2016 Columbia Riverkeeper

[3] Longview Coal Terminal Plan Draws Hundreds to All-Day Hearing in Spokane, May 26, 2016 Spokesman-Review

[4] WIRT Testimony at Millennium Bulk Terminals DEIS Hearing in Spokane on May 26, 2016, May 31, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[5] Jacob Johns Testimony Video, May 27, 2016 Dancing Crow Media

[6] Arch Coal Backs Out of Longview Export Terminal, May 27, 2016 Sightline Institute

[7] Pasco 6.2 Hearing Photos, June 3, 2016 Kat Holmes

[8] Millennium Bulk Terminals DEIS Hearing Pasco 6-2-16, June 12, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

[9] Coal Train Plan Pits Jobs Against Climate, June 2, 2016 Tri-City Herald

[10] Anti-Coal Activists, Coal Port Supporters Clash in Tri-Cities, June 3, 2016 Bellingham Herald

[11] Mathew Tomaskin, Legislative Liaison of the Yakama Tribe at Pasco 6.2 Hearing, June 6, 2016 Katherine Holmes

[12] Mathew Tomaskin Pasco Testimony Photos, June 3, 2016 Wild Idaho Rising Tide


Filed under: Coal/Oil Trains/Ports, Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Oregon Oil Train Derailment, Longview Coal Terminal Hearing in Pasco, BLM Oil & Gas Lease in Payette County 6-8-16

Wed, 06/08/2016 - 13:00
The Wednesday, June 8, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features the voices of people directly impacted by or responsible for the fiery June 3 oil train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge town of Mosier, Oregon, as well as news about the incident.  Other topics include a June 2 Pasco, Washington public hearing on the largest proposed coal export facility in North America, Millennium Bulk Terminals at Longview, Washington, and a July 27 Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction of the Sheep Ridge federal lands around Big Willow gas wells in Payette County, Idaho.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Longview Coal Terminal Testimony, Powder River Basin Coal Downturns, & California Off-Shore Fracking 6-1-16

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:30

The Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features excerpted, May 26, Spokane public hearing testimony opposing the largest proposed coal export facility in North America, Millennium Bulk Terminals at Longview, Washington.  Other topics include a similar June 2 hearing in Pasco, Washington, Arch Coal’s withdrawal from this coal port project, downturns in Powder River Basin coal production and related railroad employment, and Obama administration approval of resuming fracking off the California coast.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Last, Largest Coal Port DEIS Hearings

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 06:40

On Thursday, April 29, 2016, as required by the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the Washington Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County, Washington released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on the huge Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal proposed for Longview, Washington [1, 2]. Along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is preparing a separate federal draft EIS, the agencies are studying the potential environmental and social impacts and evaluating the risks of this project [3].  They will review and consider all concerned citizen input after the 45-day comment period ends on June 13, while performing further analyses for the final EIS.  Once this document emerges, terminal owners would begin application processes for local, state, and federal permits.

Millennium proponent Lighthouse Resources (formerly Ambre Energy) owns 62 percent of the project; 38 percent owner Arch Coal has filed for bankruptcy. Their potentially largest such facility in North America, built and operated on the site of the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter, could annually transfer and stockpile 44 million metric tons of Powder River Basin coal, strip-mined in Montana and Wyoming, between unit coal trains and ships bound for Asia.  Besides eight empty, returning trains daily, the terminal would impose on trackside communities eight fully loaded, additional coal trains per day.

This last remaining Northwest coal export project of an original six proposals should concern Idahoans, who live among relatively clean air and water, abundant wildlife, and scenic beauty, just as much as Washington citizens [4]. Coal transport through Sandpoint and surrounding north Idaho communities, 400-plus miles away, directly pollutes, threatens, and impacts regional public and environmental health and safety and economic vitality, all for private profit.  Each coal train engine spews carcinogenic diesel fumes, and its 110 open rail cars together shed 55,000 pounds of coal dust from mine to port, laden with arsenic, lead, mercury, nickel, tin, and other heavy metals.  Health experts link exposure to diesel exhaust and coal dust with decreased lung capacity and exacerbated asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, lung cancer, and heart disease.  Increased, slow-moving coal traffic can also obstruct and delay vehicles at rail crossings, extend the travel times of emergency responders, and block access to hospitals, schools, businesses, and neighborhoods.  Heavy coal trains damage rails with their pressure and clog the pores of gravel under tracks, reducing wet ballast permeability and stability and thus risking derailment of other hazardous and explosive freight.

Why support the significantly faltering coal industry and world markets [5, 6]? In recent months, owners of a dozen of the most productive coal mines in the Powder River Basin and country, Peabody, Arch, and Alpha Natural Resources, have filed for bankruptcy [7].  With the downturn in Wyoming coal, oil, and gas production, 2,400 dirty energy sector employees have lost jobs since January 1, most from the two largest coal companies [8].  Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has furloughed 4,600 workers nationwide over the last several months, and Union Pacific Railroad has laid off 4,100 employees.  After 30-plus years of endlessly fighting coal projects, tribal and Montana activists have stopped the Otter Creek coal mine in the Powder River Basin, and the federal Surface Transportation Board has dismissed the permit for the Tongue River Railroad [9].  Agencies temporarily suspended EIS preparation for the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point near Bellingham, before the Lummi Nation and supportive Northwest tribes convinced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject permits for the once biggest proposed coal port in North America, in defense of their Constitutionally-protected treaty rights to fishing grounds and practices [10].  And these developments represent only the most salient of recent, historic Northwest victories over extreme energy projects.

But the Washington Department of Ecology has announced three informational open houses and public hearings on the proposed Longview coal terminal draft EIS in three cities across the state. Various organizers with the Power Past Coal and Stand Up To Oil coalitions are hosting 4 pm rallies at each location, before oral testimony restarts after 5 pm agency presentations (also at 1 pm).  Please read the draft EIS on the Department of Ecology’s website, wear red, and come prepared to speak for only two minutes and/or provide comments to a court reporter and/or in written form during the meeting.

* Tuesday, May 24, 1 to 9 pm at the Cowlitz Regional Conference Center, 1900 Seventh Avenue in Longview, Washington [11]

* Thursday, May 26, 1 to 9 pm at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 West Spokane Falls Boulevard in Spokane, Washington [12]

* Thursday, June 2, 1 to 9 pm at the TRAC Center, 6600 Burden Boulevard in Pasco, Washington [13]

Although Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is not a coal or oil coalition member organization, campaign partners have thanked us and small Idaho and Montana groups for our deep commitment, extraordinary efforts, and superlative support of Washington comrades on the anti-coal issue, and have asked us to encourage and mobilize Idahoans to attend the June 2 Pasco hearing. WIRT and Spokane allies can attest, based on our experiences of the October 2013 scoping hearing for this coal port, that we greatly need more red-shirted coal opponents to speak out at this likely industry-heavy event.  Our region-wide, several-dozen turnout last time generated much grassroots networking, local media coverage, and public awareness [14, 15].

WIRT activists are unaccustomed to, and have little faith in, working within the regulatory framework (hearings, comments, etc.) as these processes play out in reactionary Idaho, although such political organizing appears to work in more progressive states like Oregon and Washington, which have thwarted at least 15 fossil fuel infrastructure projects. We usually just take to the streets, tracks, extraction sites, offices, etc., because that is typically our only, lonely recourse in Idaho. Through government/industry dog-and-pony shows and standard-format conservation campaigns, we have seen way too much power diverted from the grassroots frontlines over the last five years.

Nonetheless, please consider RSVPing, inviting your family and friends, attending, speaking, and impressing government agencies deliberating the Millennium Bulk Terminals draft EIS at upcoming hearings, especially in Pasco on Thursday, June 2! Despite Idaho’s almost non-existent participation in Break Free Pacific Northwest actions, we are again organizing carpools and possibly renting a van, with transportation funds offered by the coalition.  Please contact WIRT soon with your questions about contributing input and filling volunteer roles at the Pasco hearing: We will do everything we can to get you there!

These hearing and comment period opportunities may provide the Northwest community’s last chance to tell the coal industry and colluded government that our public and environmental health are too important to risk. Let’s keep coal in the ground, put the last nail in the coal train coffin, and exceed record numbers of past fossil fuel infrastructure comments (the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal draft EIS prompted 289,000 comments)!  If you cannot come to one or more of these convergences, please send your written feedback on the draft environmental review to agency decision-makers by mail or online before the June 13 deadline [1, 2].

Please share the honor of your presence in coal resistance. We gratefully and eagerly anticipate seeing and hearing from you at these hearings.  Thanks!

[1] Environmental Review: Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview (MBTL) Proposal, Washington State Department of Ecology

[2] Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview NEPA/SEPA Environmental Impact Statements, Cowlitz County, Washington, Washington Department of Ecology, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

[3] Department of Ecology Report Confirms: Huge Impacts from Proposed Coal Export Terminal in Southwest Washington, April 29, 2016 Climate Solutions, Columbia Riverkeeper, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and Washington Environmental Council

[4] Just Say No to Proposed Coal Export Terminal, May 24, 2016 Bonner County Daily Bee

[5] With Coal Prices in Steep Slide, Even Once Bullish Analyst Sees Risky Investment, February 17, 2016 Seattle Times

[6] Coal: Export Ambitions Down, But Not Out, April 26, 2016 E&E Publishing

[7] Central Appalachia Coal Production Cut in Half in Past 5 Years, April 18, 2016 SNL Data Dispatch

[8] Downturn Hits Railroads Hard, April 7, 2016 Torrington Telegram

[9] Tongue River Railroad Hits The End Of The Line! April 27, 2016 Northern Plains Resource Council

[10] Army Corps Denies Coal Terminal Permit at Cherry Point, May 9, 2016 Northwest Treaty Tribes

[11] Longview Hearing: Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Power Past Coal

[12] Spokane Hearing: Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Power Past Coal

[13] Pasco Hearing: Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Power Past Coal

[14] Millennium Bulk Terminals Scoping Hearing – Pasco, Washington: Partial Transcript and Audio, October 12, 2013 Káráni: Escribir o Volar

[15] Wild Idaho Rising Tide Breaks Down Climate Change: Highlights from Pasco Coal Train Hearing, October 14, 2013 Káráni: Escribir o Volar


Filed under: Alerts, Coal/Oil Trains/Ports
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Break Free Pacific Northwest Talks 5-25-16

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:34

The Wednesday, May 25, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) shares excerpts of talks given by Swinomish, Samish, and other Salish Sea area tribal members, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, and an oil train rail line blockader at Break Free Pacific Northwest actions in Anacortes, Washington, on May 13 to 15.  Other discussions include public hearings in Longview, Spokane, and Pasco, Washington, on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed largest coal export terminal in North America, Millennium Bulk Terminals at Longview, Washington.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Break Free Northwest Events, Tar Sands Wildfires, Bill McKibben at WSU 5-18-16

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 13:00
The Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) airs the second half of a keynote address, entitled The Human Element in Nature: From Harm to Hope, and audience conversations with climate movement leader, educator, and author Bill McKibben at Washington State University on April 13.  Other discussions include a resurgence of wildfires around the tar sands extraction outpost, Fort McMurray, Alberta, and outcomes of Break Free Pacific Northwest actions in Spokane and Anacortes, Washington.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Ahmed Gaya of Break Free Pacific Northwest & Abby Brockway & Patrick Mazza of the Delta 5 5-11-16

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 08:30

The Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide gratefully shares May 9 on-air conversations with Ahmed Gaya, an organizer of the thousands-strong Break Free Pacific Northwest direct actions against two March Point oil refineries near Anacortes, Washington, on May 13 to 15, and with Abby Brockway and Patrick Mazza, two of the Delta 5 oil train blockaders in an Everett, Washington rail yard in September 2014, both with Praxis radio show producer Taylor Weech on KYRS Spokane. Ahmed, Abby, and Patrick discuss their backgrounds and reasons for climate activism and the impacts and precedents that their civil disobedience and court cases impart to fossil fuel resisters in the climate change movement.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers the Fort McMurray and Alberta tar sands wildfires, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denial of a Gateway Pacific coal export terminal permit threatening Lummi Nation treaty-protected fishing rights at Cherry Point, Washington, and continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Are You Participating in Break Free in Anacortes & Spokane?

Sat, 05/07/2016 - 06:39

Over the last few months, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists and allies have been working diligently at online education through various channels and on interpersonal outreach at dozens of regional events*, to mobilize hundreds of inland Northwest residents to participate in the Break Free from Fossil Fuels mass action in Anacortes, Washington, on May 13 to 15 (http://breakfreepnw.org/). After contributing copious amounts of time, energy, and funds to reach out to you and request your participation, and to contact about 60 people from Idaho and eastern Washington signed up through the Break Free Pacific Northwest website, we hope to hear from you: Are you training and traveling to Anacortes?

WIRT is forming carpools and ride shares or possibly renting a van and caravanning with activists from Montana, Idaho, and eastern Washington who plan to put their bodies in the way of the government-assisted fossil fuel industry, by non-violently protesting and/or risking arrest. Please RSVP about your travel arrangements if you have not already responded, and catch these associated, upcoming events in Spokane:

May 7: Inland NW Break Free Planning & Training Workshop

After workshops in Moscow on Tuesday evening and in Sandpoint on Wednesday evening, WIRT is holding the third Inland Northwest Break Free logistics planning and direct action training session at 4 pm on Saturday, May 7, at the Liberty Park United Methodist Church, 1526 East Eleventh Avenue in Spokane, Washington. Encouraging local empowerment and resulting strong, urgent actions against volatile oil trains, dirty coal cars, and explosive natural gas facilities, these free workshops offer guidance on:

> Personal grounding for direct actions          > Transportation and lodging options

> Knowing your rights                                    > Possible legal consequences of protests

> Action roles and tactics                               > Action planning and practice

We welcome your friends and families at these gatherings providing workshop materials, snacks, and beverages. Please forward this event announcement to your comrades and invite them to support this historic protest by attending this well-anticipated workshop and the thousands-strong Break Free action in mid-May.  For further information and to discuss these opportunities, please call, text, email, or facebook message WIRT through the enclosed contact channels.

May 12: Not Your Average Climate Rally

Activists of the Spokane community and Occupy movement are hosting a parody party of a climate rally at the intersection of North Division Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Spokane, Washington, next Thursday, May 12, from 12 noon to 1 pm. As Break Free Northwest participants converge from Montana, Idaho, and eastern Washington, to head to the Anacortes area fossil fuel resistance actions, Spokane friends are staging a fun and supportive send-off celebration with music, speakers, poetry, drumming, and dancing.  Please bring your voice, guitar or other instruments, drums, and props of solar panels, wind turbines, etc. and join us!

Onward together!

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

WildIdahoRisingTide.org

Facebook.com/WildIdaho.RisingTide

Twitter.com/WildIdahoRT

208-301-8039

* This Changes Everything screenings and panel discussions in Moscow, Idaho, on March 29 and in Sandpoint, Idaho, on March 30

This Changes Everything Screenings & Panel Discussions in Moscow & Sandpoint

* The Fifth Annual Celebration of Wild Idaho Rising Tide in Moscow, Idaho, on April 2

Fifth Annual Celebration of Wild Idaho Rising Tide

* Bill McKibben’s keynote address for the Washington State University Humanities Week in Pullman, Washington, on April 13

April 13-14: Bill McKibben at WSU, May 13-15: Anacortes Break Free Action!

* Earth Day Spokane 2016 in Spokane, Washington, on April 23

Regional Earth Week Events: Help WIRT with Outreach!

* Stopping Coal and Oil Trains through Civil Disobedience panel discussion in Spokane, Washington, on April 23

Regional Earth Week Events: Help WIRT with Outreach!

* Inland Northwest Break Free planning and training workshops in Moscow, Idaho, on May 3, in Sandpoint, Idaho, on May 4, and in Spokane, Washington, on May 7

Inland NW Break Free Planning & Training Workshops

* WIRT’s weekly Climate Justice Forum radio program on KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

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