You are here

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Subscribe to Wild Idaho Rising Tide feed Wild Idaho Rising Tide
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.
Updated: 22 hours 27 min ago

Climate Justice Forum: Alma Hasse 10-20-14

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 15:00

PLEASE CALL IN: 208-892-9200!  The Monday, October 20, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes leading Idaho citizen fractivist and co-founder of Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, Alma Hasse.  Alma will share her experiences of her wrongful arrest at an October 9 Payette County planning and zoning meeting approving a natural gas processing plant expansion and her week-long incarceration and hunger strike confined to a holding cell while refusing to participate in the booking process.  She will also discuss the government, industry, and resistance background and implications of oil and gas development for civil liberties and property rights in Idaho.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Jim, Alma Hasse’s Husband, & Tina Fisher 10-13-14

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 15:45

The Monday, October 13, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Jim, husband of leading Idaho fractivist Alma Hasse who is hunger striking in the Payette County Detention Center since her wrongful October 9 arrest at a county meeting approving a natural gas processing plant expansion.  Tina Fisher, cofounder with Alma of Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and present at Alma’s arrest, will discuss the local background and implications of oil and gas development for civil liberties and property rights in Idaho.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Global Frackdown Idaho 10-11-14

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 13:45

In conjunction with the Global Frackdown worldwide day of action on Saturday, October 11, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and other groups and individuals arranged and supported Global Frackdown Idaho for a third year in Boise and for the first time in Moscow.  To publicly oppose fracking, concerned citizens and climate justice activists from across Idaho converged and staged demonstrations, calling for a ban on looming first fracking in Idaho and around the Earth.  In response to state and local policy makers and administrators and in solidarity with harmed communities and wrongfully jailed and hunger-striking Idaho fractivist Alma Hasse, protesters gathered with family, friends, neighbors, signs, and banners at the Boise and Moscow farmers markets.  Event coordinators provided verbal descriptions and printed information about the current state of oil and gas development and resistance in Idaho, as they circulated and signed a petition to state officials and considered a ballot measure, to ban fracking, waste injection wells, and all toxic oil and gas practices statewide.  At both events, participants expressed their outrage over government complicity with industrial harms to shared air, water, climate, and community, as they demanded that Idaho officials secure a future powered by clean, renewable energy, not by dirty, polluting fossil fuels that poison people and the planet.

Global Frackdown Idaho (Wild Idaho Rising Tide) (facebook event)

Global Frackdown on the Palouse (Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition)

Global Frackdown (Food and Water Watch)

Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction)

Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)


Filed under: Idaho Fracking, Photos
Categories: Climate Change

Idaho Fractivist Arrested Requesting Public Information

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 01:30

At the Payette County Courthouse in Payette, Idaho, police arrested Alma Hasse of Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction after the 7 pm Thursday, October 9, Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing about the proposed expansion of the first of two natural gas processing plants and bomb train loading facilities still under construction.

Ms. Hasse was within her rights as a Payette County and Idaho citizen to insist on obtaining public official contact information before departing after the meeting. Denied such access and allegedly refusing to leave, she may be charged with trespassing and possibly disorderly conduct or resisting arrest, according to the Payette County Detention Facility where she is being held.

Multiple calls to the jail (208-642-6006, extension 2) with questions from family and fellow activists revealed that staff will not allow incoming communication and that they claim that Alma is not cooperating with booking procedures. They also state that she will be spending the night and allowed one phone call and, if the judge is willing to see her, she will be arraigned and released at a 1:30 pm hearing on Friday, October 10.  If not, she could remain jailed until Tuesday, over an upcoming “holiday.”

Because Alma has served as the preeminent, outspoken opponent of nascent Idaho oil and gas development over the last four years in the Payette County ground-zero countryside surrounding her home and business, her friends and allies fear that she is being detained by excessive force in a rural prison. We are unsure of her bail amount, but her eagerly anticipated court appearance on Friday may not require it.

Please send Alma your best thoughts and energies throughout Friday morning and beyond, and call the detention center to ask about her situation and to convey that the world is watching. If you can, attend her hearing in solidarity and ensure that she knows to plead “not guilty” and ask for a public defender.  Share this report via email, facebook, Twitter, and phone, and consider donating to Alma’s legal expenses (she has also appealed the second gas processing plant) at P.O. Box 922, Fruitland, ID 83619-0900.  Thanks for supporting our climate heroes!


Filed under: Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Statewide Gas Lease Auction Protests

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 22:40

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, beginning at 9:30 am MDT, the Idaho Board of Land Commissioners will offer oil and gas leases of state lands and sub-surface mineral rights for sale to the highest bidder, at a public auction in the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Trophy Conference Room 101, at 600 South Walnut Street in Boise, Idaho [1]. The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) periodically conducts these auctions and administers subsequent leases, with oversight and approval of the Land Board.  The 12.5-percent royalty derived from extracted oil and gas raises funds from lands held for the public trust and state wildlife and transportation departments and for specified beneficiary institutions through the state endowment trust.  Of the 11 tracts in Cassia, Gem, and Owyhee Counties, 600 acres in Cassia County and 160 acres in Gem County constitute state lands, while the nine parcels totaling 4,479 acres located in Owyhee County involve split estates of private landowners and state mineral holders [2].

Minimum, competitive bids by drilling companies at the oral auction open at only $0.25 per acre for the 5,279 acres available for leasing [3]. Successful bidders must pay their bid and the first year’s annual rent of $1.00 per acre for leases lasting up to ten years.  If these leases are not drilled or productive, IDL assesses additional drilling penalties of $1.00 per acre per year starting in the sixth year.  The state requires a $1,000 bond for exploration on each lease, which increases to $6,000 prior to drilling, in addition to a drilling permit bond issued by the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.  Before entry on state lands for seismic exploration, companies must acquire IDL permits costing $100 per mile across contiguous tracts or a minimum of $100 per section.

At the last of several state lands and minerals auctions in Boise, on April 17, 2014, activists raised concerns about drilling under rivers and fossil fuel effects on climate change, demonstrating outside IDL headquarters and quietly occupying the auction room filled with gas company executives and attorneys who bid more than $1,148,435 to the state of Idaho [4]. The Idaho Department of Lands leased 17,700-plus acres for oil and gas drilling, including 1,415 acres of state public trust lands and minerals under or adjacent to Boise, Payette, and Snake river beds.  AM (Alta Mesa) Idaho of Houston, Texas, and Trendwell West, of Rockford, Michigan, paid an average of $76 per acre for the 150  tracts in Ada, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington counties.  The April 17 auction doubled the previously largest amount of Idaho public lands and minerals leased in one period, bringing the total to nearly 98,000 state acres, leased for as low as $2.35 per acre on average, besides the thousands more private acres leased in six southwestern counties [5].  Eighteen drilled but capped wells, awaiting pipelines and production and transportation infrastructure currently proposed or under construction, surround the first producing well in Idaho in February 2014, on the Teunissen Dairy near New Plymouth.  The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality found toluene from drilling mud in a water well several hundred feet away in fall 2012 [6].

If the people of Idaho own these myriad acres of public trust and endowment trust state lands and minerals auctioned for oil and gas exploitation, which respectively “benefit” the general fund and public schools, how can Idahoans influence and determine how our state cares for these shared resources? Allowing the same agency – the Idaho Department of Lands – to both regulate and lease oil and gas development on state holdings seems like a conflict of interest, especially because the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that oversees industry regulation is politically appointed and receives a 1.5-percent severance tax on oil and gas production for its “responsibility.”  At least Idahoans can vote out of office the state’s highest elected officials on the Land Board, for leasing and selling off our precious but subsequently impacted lands, resources, and waterways for bargain prices.

Because the last five years of frenzied oil and gas rule-making, legislation, exploration, and drilling, centered primarily in Payette County and the Boise halls of government, represent industry’s first forays into Idaho’s still relatively pristine and thus increasingly valuable watersheds, the time has arrived for communities across the state to organize resistance to looming drilling, fracking, and acidizing of oil and gas wells. Historic and current fossil fuel development in the state infer that major portions of Idaho are ripe for extreme energy extraction and could eventually suffer in the boom-and-bust crosshairs of dirty energy corporations [7].  Please participate in one or more of these opportunities for citizen protection of our clean air, water, and lands:

1) Join the auction protest of these state leases, converging at 8:30 am MDT on Wednesday, October 15, outside the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 600 South Walnut Street in Boise.  Organized by Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment (ICARE), Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE), Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and allies, this frontline demonstration affords various roles that will display collective citizen disapproval of our state government allowing oil and gas companies to utilize our public lands and waters as dumping grounds for the predictable, toxic aftermath of extraction profits.  Bring your protest signs, family, friends, co-workers, songs, and spirit of solidarity with communities devastated by fossil fuels.  Park in the MK Nature Center lot south of the Fish and Game building, and contact ICARE, IRAGE, and WIRT to discuss event logistics [8, 9].

2) Coordinate statewide protests at Idaho Department of Lands offices on the holiday or business day before this auction, Monday or Tuesday, October 13 or 14.  Like the June 4 to 7, 2013, Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! actions across the state, we are encouraging and instigating demonstrations outside IDL offices at Bonners Ferry, Coolin, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, Kingston, Saint Maries, Deary, Kamiah, Orofino, Craigmont, McCall, Jerome, and Idaho Falls [10, 11].  Recruit your friends, family, and neighbors, wield your protest signs, banners, and chants, engage in grassroots public participation by sharing your thoughts with agency personnel, and take plenty of photos and videos to share with Boise IDL staff!  Oil and gas development could soon be coming to the Grangeville area and southeastern Idaho [12, 13].  Please reach WIRT at 208-301-8039 or wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com, for further information.

3) Sign the petition addressed to Idaho Governor Butch Otter, entitled Protect Idaho’s Water [14].  It requests independent baseline testing of all bodies of water near state lands and minerals prior to their leasing by the Idaho Department of Lands to the oil and gas industry.  To expand Idaho citizens’ right to knowledge of lands planned for auction, engagement in leasing processes, and stringent water protections, the state should make available to the public this water quality data and comprehensive maps of pending leased parcels, before any auction of state lands and mineral rights for fossil fuel development.

4) Test your well water before any oil and gas drilling activities, if you live or do business in leased areas.  Because such water quality data must be legally defensible, withstanding potential industry attorney challenges, a certified water collector should do the sampling, thereby ensuring a strong and transparent chain of custody.  Contact Alma Hasse and Tina Fisher of ICARE and IRAGE, who can guide you through this process.  If you pool four to eight neighbors for water well testing within a zero- to three-mile radius of looming drilling, ICARE can cover the $35 hourly rate for a technician.

5) Arrange meetings among your neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends for presentations and discussions with ICARE, IRAGE, and WIRT activists about oil and gas development in Idaho and other states more severely affected by industry inroads.  Local organizers can answer your questions and talk with you over coffee or iced tea.

6) Explore information on the IRAGE and WIRT facebook and website pages, join these community groups, and share this action alert with concerned citizens around the region.  WIRT will periodically release more updates about Idaho oil and gas incursions and resistance in upcoming newsletters.

[1] Notice of Oil and Gas Lease Auction (Idaho Department of Lands)

[2] Tracts to be Auctioned on October 15, 2014 (Idaho Department of Lands)

[3] Oil and Gas Leasing (Idaho Department of Lands)

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

[5] Fracking Campaign (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[6] WIRT Newsletter: Direct Action Manuals, Idaho Gas and Fukushima Plans, Fracking, Shale Oil, Coal, and Tar Sands Resistance (November 3, 2013 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Oil and Gas Exploration in Idaho (2006 Idaho Geological Survey)

[8] Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (facebook)

[9] Wild Idaho Rising Tide (facebook and website)

[10] Stop the Frack Attack, Idaho! 6-4-7-13 (June 4, 2013 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[11] Supervisory Areas (Idaho Department of Lands)

[12] Fracking Brothers Buy Chunk of Idaho County (January 12, 2013 Lewiston Tribune)

[13] Don’t Frack Birding Island in Idaho’s Payette River (May 30, 2013 Earthworks Earthblog)

[14] Protect Idaho’s Water (CredoMobilize petition)


Filed under: Alerts, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Background: Second and Third Bigge/Calumet Megaloads

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 23:45

(August 28 to October 5, 2014, Montana megaload news soon…)


Filed under: Mammoet 2014 Megaloads
Categories: Climate Change

Not Yet, Calumet! Megaload & Refinery Protests

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 19:00

According to various Montana media accounts, the third, final, and top Calumet Montana Refining hydrocracker section, bound for Great Falls, Montana, and hauled by recent Oregon megaload-dropping Bigge Crane and Rigging, left the Dell, Montana area on Wednesday evening, October 1 [1, 2].  Its arduous trek traversing Interstate 15, U.S. Highway 287, and Montana Highway 200 may require seven or fewer nights, like the second, heavier load.  Ongoing news breakdowns, if not blackouts, suggest that it may have entered Montana over Monida Pass by road, not by rail like the second such transport that crossed two Indian reservations [3, 4].  Uncritically publishing the September 29 Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) press release, the local, weekly Dillon Tribune newspaper finally printed front-page news of the move, but claimed no previous knowledge of these two heaviest-ever, regional megaloads weighing over 1.3 million pounds [5].  Despite MDT statements to the media, veterans of four-plus years of megaload opposition cannot trust MDT’s assertion that “there are no more expected ‘megaloads’ on the calendar, using any of the routes through Montana” [1].

As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies prepare for anti-megaload actions, heeding the same reasons we have always resisted fossil fuel evils, Washington and Idaho activists are still deliberating our travel options (that need your donations!) and anticipating that this behemoth could arrive in Great Falls as early as Wednesday night, October 7-8.  Because minimal and broken MDT website links to the presumably similar second megaload transport plan perhaps purposely offer little information, we contacted MDT, asking where on its website concerned citizens could find the Bigge transportation plan for these megaloads [6].  MDT staff replied that, “As of this evening (Friday, October 3), the current, parked location of Bigge Crane and Rigging’s megaload is milepost 108.8 on Interstate 15 [about 17 miles south of Butte].  They are expected to remain parked until Sunday night, at which point they will go through Butte.”  MDT referred additional questions regarding travel routes, planned stops, and past moves to Motor Carrier Services Division Administrator Duane Williams at 406-444-7312 or duwilliams@mt.gov.

WIRT’s best, mapped guess of the progression of routes and layover spots of the third Bigge/Calumet megaload in Montana, based on all currently available agency and media information, follows [7].
* Sunday night, October 5-6: Interstate 15 from Feely through Butte to Jefferson City (points B to C)
* Monday night, October 6-7: Jefferson City through Helena to Lyons Creek (points C to D)
* Tuesday night, October 7-8: Lyons Creek through Wolf Creek to U.S. Highway 287 and Montana Highway 200 to Sun River (points D to E)
* Wednesday night, October 8-9: Highway 200 to Frontage/Vaughn Road to Northwest Bypass to Third Street NW to Calumet Montana Refining (points E to F)

Wild Idaho Rising Tide and distant allies intend to not miss this most significant Bigge-hauled Calumet transport nor to let it sidestep citizen objection as easily as the first two loads in Montana.  We hope to honor the protest leadership of amazing Indian Peoples Action (IPA) and Missoula megaload blockaders and to build momentum from IPA’s first demonstration outside the refinery, in solidarity with First Nations resisting tar sands exploitation and hosting the Tar Sands Healing Walk on June 28 [8].  Eager to plan and participate in swift responses to Montana megaload transports and refinery expansion, WIRT connected with Great Falls activists and impacted communities through allies.  During month-long discussions among three Montana groups and tribal and climate activists and friends, we sought input to coordinate monitoring and protesting activities and other resistance to megaloads and refineries in Great Falls and beyond, talking about effective strategies and tactics and suggesting event times and places.  As WIRT “confronts the root causes of climate change,” we prefer to retain our focused, direct opposition of refinery expansion and supply transportation, but may also engage in the contentious arena of fossil fuel consumer-driven climate change that is secondary to state-sponsored, corporate extraction and production of hydrocarbons.

So we propose nighttime protests, encountering the megaload moving under cover of darkness through well-lit places, and demonstrations during heavy traffic, daylight hours on the sidewalks in front of Calumet Montana Refining and the Calumet gas station on Tenth Avenue South in Great Falls, to attract the attention of passersby and urge boycotts of company gasoline.  Depending on the schedule of this last megaload, please join these tentative demonstrations:
* Wednesday, October 8, 4 pm: Calumet Gas Station, 1621 10th Avenue South (corner of 17th Street South and 10th Avenue South) Great Falls, Montana
* Wednesday, October 8, 5 pm: Calumet Montana Refining, 1900 10th Street Northeast (corner of Smelter Avenue Northeast and 10th Street Northeast), Great Falls, Montana
* Wednesday and/or Thursday, October 8 and/or 9, 9 pm: Meet at the Denny’s at the Flying J Travel Plaza, 3715 31st Street Southwest (Interstate 15 Airport Exit 277), Great Falls, Montana

Expect, encourage, and engage in this megaload resistance, before this last crucial component of Alberta tar sands/Bakken shale oil refinery expansion attains its destination.  Rally by all possible methods – via phone calls, email messages, letters, media releases, and internet posts – to activate intrepid defenders of our climate-challenged planet standing up and speaking out against biosphere-destroying profiteers!  Please craft and bring protest signs targeting refinery megaloads and expansion, for instance saying “No New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure,” “Stop Tar Sands & Shale Oil,” “Megaloads = Mega-Climate Chaos,” or other creative slogans.  Circulate this megaload update and protesting/monitoring alert, contact WIRT to carpool from Missoula, Helena, and other Idaho and Montana locations, and mobilize whomever you can to together get involved in these endeavors.  For further information about these megaloads and accompanying WIRT opposition since December 2013, see a background article released tonight, October 5, and the category Mammoet 2014 Megaloads, both available on the WIRT website [9, 10].  And consider that none of this activism can happen without your physical and/or fiscal support soon [11].

[1] Megaload Heading up I-15 from Dell Next Week (September 26, 2014 Montana Standard)

[2] Megaload to Move through Montana (September 27, 2014 Montana Standard)

[3] Third and Final Megaload Headed North on 1-15 Tonight (October 1, 2014 KPAX)

[4] KRTV 10 pm Top Stories – Wednesday, October 1 (October 2, 2014 KRTV)

[5] “Mega Load” to Pass by Dillon (October 1, 2014 Dillon Tribune) (full page)

[6] Bigge Crane Megaload Permit Issued (September 18, 2014 Montana Department of Transportation)

[7] Third Bigge/Calumet Megaload Route and Layovers in Montana (October 5, 2014 Google Maps)

[8] “Clean Energy” Advocates Protest in Great Falls (June 28, 2014 KRTV)

[9] Background: Second and Third Bigge/Calumet Megaloads (October 5, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[10] Mammoet 2014 Megaloads (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[11] Support WIRT (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)


Filed under: Alerts, Mammoet 2014 Megaloads
Categories: Climate Change

Global Frackdown Idaho

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 15:00

Over the last four years, a majority of Idaho senators, representatives, and agency staff members has succumbed to the mercenary ambitions of the oil and natural gas industry and the state of Idaho. They have passed and misapplied state laws, rules, and regulations, allowing hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”)  that pollutes surface and ground water, sanctioning associated waste injection wells that leak or re-use water wells, permitting seismic testing and gas flaring that degrade geologic stability and air sheds, granting corporate hegemony over local jurisdictions that undermines democratic oversight of oil and gas facilities, approving gas wells and processing plants that spew volatile toxins, traffic, and noise, and consenting to drilling on state lands and near or under rivers, wetlands, and wildlife refuges that sustain water resources, agriculture, and native species [1, 2].  Subsequently, they have effectively compromised our air and water quality, jeopardized our health, property, and livelihoods, dismissed local protective ordinances, threatened agricultural communities, endangered tourism revenue, and risked the state’s lands, waters, and economy.

Despite ongoing outcry from thousands of citizens and diligent input from scientists, attorneys, elected officials, and conservation organizations, our delegates have negligently accommodated oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation in Idaho, especially where the state owns the subsurface mineral rights, at the likely expense of their constituents’ health, safety, finances, and self-governance. In the wake of increasingly erratic weather, horrific Colorado gasland floods, continent-wide oil and gas spills and explosions, and indigenous and settler blockades of fossil fuel equipment and product supply roads and rails, honest, hard-working Idahoans dread the impacts of similar probable scenarios on their families and communities, homes and businesses, and resources and recreation in the Payette River floodplains, where drilling resumed during summer 2013, potentially affecting wild, downstream Snake River canyons [3-6].

In response to state and local policy makers and administrators, in solidarity with harmed communities, and in conjunction with the Global Frackdown worldwide day of action on Saturday, October 11, concerned citizens and climate justice activists from across Idaho are converging to stage more public demonstrations, calling for a ban on looming first fracking in Idaho and around the Earth [7, 8]. As we circulate a petition to state officials and consider a ballot measure, to ban all toxic oil and gas practices statewide, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), Idaho Residents against Gas Extraction (IRAGE), Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC), and other groups and individuals are coordinating a Global Frackdown Idaho march and rally in Boise and gathering in Moscow, to publicly oppose fracking.

Join protesters at 11 am MDT on Saturday, October 11, near the Boise Farmers Market at Eleventh and Front Streets, to march by the Capital City Public Market, toward a rally at the Idaho Capitol on Jefferson Street. Gather at 10 am PDT at the PESC/WIRT outreach table in the Moscow Farmers Market on Friendship Square, to sign the Idaho anti-fracking/waste injection well petition and take supportive photos.  At both events, demand of Idaho officials a future powered by clean, renewable energy, not by dirty, polluting fossil fuels that poison people and the planet.  Bring your family, friends, and neighbors and protest signs, banners, and chants, and express your outrage over government complicity with industrial harms to shared air, water, climate, and community.  For information about carpools embarking from northern and southern Idaho respectively, contact WIRT at 208-301-8039 or wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com or reach IRAGE at 208-695-1556 or idahocare@yahoo.com [9, 10].  PESC can provide descriptions of the Moscow event at epfuerst@frontier.com [11].  Profusely print and post the color, letter-sized Global Frackdown Idaho Flyer, hand distribute the Global Frackdown Idaho Quarter Flyer, both available on the WIRT website, and do not miss your opportunity to participate in this event!  Thanks!

[1] Fracking Campaign (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[2] Idaho Fracking (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[3] E. Coli, Oil Spills, and Airlifts: Fallout from Colorado Flooding Continues (September 20, 2013 Cable News Network)

[4] No Thanks No Giving: Mi’kmaq Call for Actions October 18 #Indigenize (October 12, 2013 Reclaim Turtle Island)

[5] WIRT Newsletter: September Idaho Gasland News (September 21, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[6] WIRT Newsletter: September 26 to October 30 Events (September 26, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Global Frackdown on the Palouse (Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition)

[8] Global Frackdown (Food and Water Watch)

[9] Wild Idaho Rising Tide (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[10] Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction)

[11] Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition)


Filed under: Alerts, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

AM Idaho Highway 30 Refinery Expansion CUP Documents

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 10:30

Please comment about proposed expansion of this solitary Payette County natural gas processing plant, still under construction.  Written opposition by late Thursday, October 2, to accommodate later appeals, would further obstruct southwestern Idaho gas production.  WIRT has posted pertinent documents for your response here and site photos on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.yost.7/posts/753565791374950?notif_t=story_reshare

From: Payette County Website [mailto:webmaster@payettecounty.org]

Sent: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 3:00 AM

To: Patti Nitz

Subject: Payette County: Information about Amended CUP for AM Idaho

This is an enquiry email via http://payettecounty.org/ from:

Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide <wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com>

Ms. Nitz,

Please direct us to or send the pertinent documents considered at the October 9, 2014 Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission hearing about an amended conditional use permit (CUP) requested by AM Idaho LLC for its natural gas and hydrocarbon liquid treatment facility near 4303 Highway 30 South in New Plymouth, Idaho.*  We would prefer to receive this information electronically and in a timely manner accommodating our comments five business days in advance of this hearing.

Thank you,

Helen Yost

Wild Idaho Rising Tide

P.O. Box 9817, Moscow, Idaho 83843

208-301-8039

* Legal Notice of Public Hearing

http://id.mypublicnotices.com/PublicNotice.asp?Page=PublicNotice&AdId=3628297

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM, Patti Nitz <pnitz@payettecounty.org> wrote:

Good morning, Ms. Yost:

Attached please find the application to amend a conditional use permit submitted by AM Idaho, LLC for its natural gas processing facility on Highway 30 South, New Plymouth.  I have also attached the notice of the upcoming public hearing, the staff report, an aerial map of the proposed location, and a memo containing my notes from the technical review meeting.  I have not yet received the engineer’s comment letter that follows the technical review meeting.

Patti S. Nitz, Administrator

Payette County Planning and Zoning

208-642-6018

pnitz@payettecounty.org

AM Idaho Highway 30 Refinery Expansion Aerial Map

AM Idaho Highway 30 Refinery Expansion CUP Application

AM Idaho Highway 30 Refinery Expansion Hearing Notice

AM Idaho Highway 30 Refinery Expansion Payette County Staff Report

AM Idaho Highway 30 Refinery Expansion Payette County Technical Review Meeting Memo

From: Wild Idaho Rising Tide <wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com>

To: Patti Nitz <pnitz@payettecounty.org>

Date: Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Subject: Re: Payette County: Information about Amended CUP for AM Idaho

Thank you, Ms. Nitz,

We greatly appreciate your provision of these documents, which we hope will benefit public participation in this hearing and associated decisions.

Helen Yost

Wild Idaho Rising Tide


Filed under: Alerts, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Ellen Roskovich 9-29-14

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:00

The Monday, September 29, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Ellen Roskovich, a stalwart, core WIRT activist and supporter of environmental justice and community spirit, soon departing Moscow, Idaho, for Portland, Oregon.  Ellen will reminisce about Moscow, WIRT, and indigenous resistance to fossil fuel infrastructure throughout the region during the last three years of her strong involvement in direct actions.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

WIRT Newsletter: September 26 to October 30 Events

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:45

Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies in these upcoming September and October 2014 activities! Expect separate announcements about the Global Frackdown, oil and gas lease auction protest, and other events soon.

Friday, September 26, 4 pm: Ellen and “Pops” Roskovich Bench Dedication Ceremony, East City Park, Third and Monroe Streets, Moscow, Idaho

Sunday, September 28, 2 pm: Hail and Farewell to Ellen Roskovich, D. Willy’s Blues Brew and BBQ, 112 West Sixth Street, Moscow, Idaho

A stalwart, core WIRT activist and supporter of peace and environmental justice, Ellen is soon departing Moscow for Portland, Oregon. Moscow, WIRT, local groups, and grateful friends will miss Ellen’s impressive community spirit, direct activism, and helpful contributions to many causes.  Please join in the festivities at the Friday bench dedication, as the Moscow Volunteer Peace Band offers musical inspiration, and at a Sunday reception to offer Ellen a fitting bon voyage to her new life among close family members.  (information link)

Wednesday, October 1, 1 pm MDT: Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission special public meeting on Alta Mesa’s integration application, Idaho Capitol Room WW55, 700 West Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho (Live audio-streamed at this link)

“The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, in the Capitol, Senate Hearing Room WW55, Lower Level, West Wing, 700 West Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho,…at 1 pm MDT. Topic: Alta Mesa Services, LP application for integration.  This meeting will be streamed live via audio at this web site address…”  (information link)

Saturday, October 11, 11 am MDT: Global Frackdown, Boise Farmers Market at Eleventh and Front Streets, through Capital City Public Market, to the Idaho Capitol steps on Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho

In conjunction with the third Global Frackdown worldwide day of action on October 11, concerned citizens and climate activists are staging another public demonstration calling for a ban on looming fracking and all toxic oil and gas practices in Idaho and around the Earth. WIRT, Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE), and other groups will march with protest signs, banners, and chants, through farmers markets to the Idaho Capitol and rally on its steps, to publicly oppose fracking and fossil fuels that poison people and the planet and to demand a future powered by clean, renewable energy.  (information link)

Tuesday and Wednesday, October 14 and 15, 12 noon and 8:30 am: Statewide protests at 12 noon local time on Tuesday at Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) offices and state oil and gas lease auction resistance on 8:30 am MDT on Wednesday at IDL, 300 North Sixth Street, Suite 103, Boise, Idaho

Like June 2013 demonstrations across Idaho and April 2014 protests and occupation of a state oil and gas lease auction, IRAGE, WIRT, and allies are encouraging statewide, grassroots convergences at Idaho Department of Lands offices on Tuesday, October 14, and frontline displays of citizen disapproval at another state lands and minerals lease auction at the IDL office in Boise.  (information link)

Saturday, October 18, 9 am: University of Idaho Homecoming Parade, Rosauer’s along Main Street to Seventh Street, Moscow, Idaho

The Moscow Volunteer Peace Band will march and play with Democratic Party candidates and officials and may also join Wild Idaho Rising Tide, as we again walk with protest signs and banners and distribute handouts and candy, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the University of Idaho during the Once Upon a Homecoming week.  (information link)

Tuesday, October 21, 1 to 4 pm MDT: Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission quarterly meeting, Idaho Capitol Lincoln Auditorium, Room WW02, 700 West Jefferson Street, Boise, Idaho

At the October Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission meeting, Idahoans should fully engage our last chance to modify the recently revised state oil and gas rules, before final approval by the Commission and deliberation during January 2015 Idaho legislative hearings. “Oil and Gas Commission…meeting dates, times, and locations are subject to change at the discretion of the Commission…Alternate rooms may be utilized depending on availability of the auditorium…Meeting notices and agendas will be posted in accordance with the Idaho open meeting law.”  (information link)

Tuesday and Thursday, October 28 and 30, 6 to 8 pm: 2014 Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study public meeting, Double Tree Hotel by Hilton, 322 North Spokane Falls Court, Spokane, Washington, on Tuesday, and at an unknown location in Lacey/Olympia on Thursday

Governor Inslee and Washington agency staff are conducting a study addressing the significant increases in oil transportation across the state, with hearings and comments that assess the risks and impacts of oil transportation to rail line and terminal communities and waterways. Crucial opportunities for public participation can provide input, express concerns, and inform state responses to combined oil and coal train and ship traffic affecting environmental and public health and safety and regional livelihoods and economies.  Contact WIRT for Palouse carpool arrangements to Spokane.  (information link)


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Michael Lewis & Tina Fisher 9-22-14

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:09

The Monday, September 22, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Michael Lewis, director of the U.S. Geological Survey Idaho Water Science Center in Boise, talking about a baseline water quality study proposed for Gem County before natural gas development. We also discuss recent proposed and ongoing installation of fossil fuel infrastructure with Tina Fisher of Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction, and we air a half hour of recorded speeches from the People Climate March in Portland. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

September Idaho Gasland News

Sun, 09/21/2014 - 12:50

GASLAND 2 IDAHO ROAD SHOW: BOISE & ONTARIO

Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE), Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), and allies are hosting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show, providing community screenings in eight cities across Idaho and plenty of updates about the current oil and gas situation in Idaho [1, 2]. Gasland Part II, the 2013 sequel to independent filmmaker Josh Fox’s Oscar-nominated, movement-building documentary Gasland, reveals the implications for environmental, climate, and human health and American democracy and rights of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil and one of the most important environmental issues currently troubling our nation.

As residents of Payette and surrounding counties and southeastern Idaho face impending fracking, concerned, knowledgeable Idaho activists staging these free, public events will discuss with audience members local initiatives against oil and gas leasing, drilling, processing, and transporting in Idaho. This tour encourages citizen comments on recently revised state oil and gas rules before and/or at a Wednesday, September 24 hearing, as well as participation in grassroots protests during the Global Frackdown on the Capitol steps in Boise on Saturday, October 11, and at statewide Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) offices on Wednesday, October 15, opposing another state lands and minerals lease auction.

Please attend one of these movie showings and conversations on Sunday, September 21, in Boise and/or on Monday, September 22, in Ontario, Oregon. As we mobilize Idaho communities against corporate/government dirty energy inroads and demand protection from the impacts of oil and gas development, please consider generously supporting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show, online through the WIRT website “Donate to WIRT” button or at the address on the WIRT facebook and website pages [3].  Thanks to Arlene, Claire, Ellen, Jane, Judith, Pat, and Rob, we have raised $110 and donated dinner and lodging toward our $400 goal of offsetting film and travel costs, a small amount compared to the thousands of volunteer hours and dollars spent on a dozen regional campaign trips over the last year.  Please also help us promote this crucial road show and statewide fracking resistance by sharing the email, website, and facebook event announcements, printing and widely posting the event flyer, and participating in one of these community screenings and talks [4].  Thanks!

[1] Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show (Wild Idaho Rising Tide and Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction) (facebook event)

[2] Learn about the Dangers of Fracking in the Film ‘Gasland Part II’ Monday (September 17, 2014 Argus Observer)

[3] Support WIRT (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show Flyer (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

OIL & GAS RULES COMMENTS

Please participate in the September 3 through 24 public comment period on the Idaho Rules Pertaining to Conservation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas (IDAPA 20.07.02), recently revised during four June and July negotiated rulemaking sessions. At 5 pm MDT on Wednesday, September 24, the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing on these proposed rules at the IDL office, 300 North Sixth Street, Suite 103, in Boise [5].  Although WIRT intends to develop talking points to prompt your comments, limited electricity and internet access for writing during the statewide Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show may delay or impede this project.  See the dozens of comments posted on the Idaho Department of Lands website, previously submitted IRAGE and WIRT letters, and the following editorial for ideas for your comments.  Please also speak out at the hearing and possible protest on September 24, and send your thoughts to the Idaho Department of Lands at rulemaking@idl.idaho.gov or P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0050 [6-7].

[5] Oil and Gas: Rulemaking for IDAPA 20.07.02 Rules Pertaining to Conservation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas (Idaho Department of Lands)

[6] Comments on Proposed Negotiated Idaho Oil and Gas Rules (August 1, 2014 Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Our View: Don’t Skimp on Gas Oversight (September 3, 2014 Twin Falls Times-News Editorial Board)

“No fracking in Idaho [good luck with that!] means that dangerous, secret chemicals won’t be shot into the ground and potentially the state’s groundwater. But new industrial sites mean more chemicals to keep the machines working.  Gas drilling means potential widespread environmental contamination and even fires and explosions.”

STATE LEASE AUCTION

The Idaho Board of Land Commissioners received applications for state lands and subsurface minerals potentially leased for oil and gas exploitation at the next auction on October 15, where IRAGE and WIRT plan to display public objection [8]. With these proposals, tracts in Cassia County would join the thousands of acres already leased by Alta Mesa and other gas drillers in Canyon, Gem, Owhyee, Payette, and Washington counties [9].  Possibly affected citizens in the Magic Valley and all of these places are raising concerns about explosive chemicals migrating from faulty conventional, fracked, or acidized wells into drinking water and about earthquakes from gas reservoir fracturing and waste injection wells.  The Idaho Department of Lands accepted written comments and held a public, evening hearing on Wednesday, September 10, about these lands and minerals proposed for auction.  We nonetheless encourage overdue comments to IDL at publichearingcomments@idl.idaho.gov or P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0050.

[8] Public Comment Period for Oil and Gas Lease (September 3, 2014 Emmett Messenger-Index)

[9] Cassia County Land for Lease in State Oil and Gas Auction (August 29, 2014 Twin Falls Times-News)

BOMB TRAIN RAIL SPUR & MINI-REFINERY

At a public hearing held by the Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) on Thursday evening, September 11, at the Payette County Courthouse in Payette, commissioners rubberstamped an Alta Mesa application for a conditional use permit (CUP) to build and operate a New Plymouth processing plant and loading facility for liquefied natural gas “bomb trains” a little over one mile from New Plymouth High School [10]. The Houston, Texas company currently drilling another four wells in Payette County ground-zero covered all of its legal bases and used every loophole in county ordinances by submitting two other applications, a rezoning request to convert prime, irrigated, agricultural land to industrial uses, and an attempt to amend the Payette County comprehensive plan [11, 12].  On the previous Tuesday, September 9, P&Z held a noontime, no-host luncheon, to discuss these applications at Jimbo’s in Payette, and conducted a viewing of the site, both open to the public.  IRAGE activists warned that if the commissioners approved any of these applications, they would allow the “hydrocarbon transportation and ancillary processing” industrial facility to proceed, imposing bomb trains rumbling through communities on nearby city residents and other towns down the rail line.  Although P&Z displayed ignorance of potential impacts by rolling out the CUP red carpet, Alta Mesa scrambling local zoning regulations and comprehensive plans perhaps made P&Z “authorities” uneasy: They tabled the other two applications.  Whether the new rail spur and compression station – and associated natural gas exploitation reliant on this fossil fuel infrastructure – are “done deals” remains to be seen.

While a dehydration/compression/refrigeration plant on Highway 30, close to the Langley Gulch gas-fired power station, nears completion, the proposed site for the mini-refinery and rail spur to load bomb trains would occupy property owned by Dick Fisher and located at 4290 East Idaho Street, in the immediate vicinity of the Applegate-Kennedy Cemetery, where Idaho Street turns into Blaine Street, just outside the city limits of New Plymouth. These toxic, potentially tragic facilities would fill rail cars known to explode with highly volatile condensate/natural gas liquids (NGLs).  What could go wrong?  Neighbors, residents along this rail line, and people who choose to live in the country would suffer constant air, noise, and visual pollution, increased traffic, compromised health of self, family, and friends, and reduced home, business, and land property values, not to mention the possibility of personal and property incineration within a half-mile of the train tracks.  Not only are the public safety ramifications enormous, citizens would relinquish land for growing food as well as property values along rail lines, in exchange for out-of-state-and-country companies transporting, exporting, and combusting Idaho gas resources.  Many of the specifics of Alta Mesa’s plans, beyond filed drawings, pictures, and verbal assurances, are missing or postponed.

IRAGE and WIRT invite you to look over Alta Mesa’s applications and offer written comments voicing your disapproval, opinions, and concerns about this development, via email to Payette County Planning and Zoning Commission officials. Contact IRAGE comrades Alma Hasse at 208-695-1556 or idahocare@yahoo.com or Tina Fisher at 208-230-2402 or tina@sheepdogammo.com, with your questions.  Send your letter to Patti Nitz, Planning and Zoning Administrator for Payette County, who suspiciously discussed Alma’s public records request with an industry attorney, through this form.

[10] New Plymouth Fuel Shipping Facility Approved (September 17, 2014 Independent-Enterprise)

[11] Alta Mesa Applications (Alma Hasse Dropbox)

[12] Hydrocarbon Transportation and Ancillary Processing (Protect Gem County)

GEM COUNTY ORDINANCE

Coincidentally (or not!) on the same September 11 evening, the Gem County Oil and Gas Ordinance Committee, developing local oil and gas rules, held an earlier scheduled special public workshop at the Gem County Courthouse in Emmett [13]. Citizens of Gem and Payette counties, typically united against oil and gas invasions, could not attend both meetings.  Those who did participate discussed and provided comments about the oil and gas ordinance, Idaho administrative code, Gem County citizen draft language for the ordinance, and other counties’ similar endeavors.  County residents concerned about gas production operations’ effects on ground and surface water posed questions to the meeting’s guest speaker, Michael Lewis, director of the U.S. Geological Survey Idaho Water Science Center in Boise [14].  The session concluded with suggested scheduling, topics, and inquiries for speakers at successive workshops.

[13] Special County Workshop (Protect Gem County)

[14] Lewis Named Director of USGS Idaho Water Science Center (April 16, 2012 U.S. Geological Survey)

BLM LANDS IN DRILLING POOL

In early September, good news emerged from southwestern Idaho gasland, thanks to the prudence of the nascent Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and thorough federal review processes [15, 16]. The commission rejected Alta Mesa’s request to exclude interspersed Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and potential royalties to the state with their drilling, from among otherwise leased private lands in sections within a supposedly profitable natural gas field in southwestern Idaho.  This decision will likely stall Alta Mesa’s reckless lease-and-drill pace on private properties intermixed with these federal lands.  Although some gas development opponents assert that federal administrators violate people’s rights and trample public lands more than the state, and that constitutionally permitted authority over federal lands is constrained to certain capacities that will not obstruct gas development, most fractivists see this interim measure as a hopeful delay in the far-from-finished processes that destroy beautiful Idaho.

[15] Idaho Rejects Oil Company Request to Exclude Feds (September 4, 2014 Idaho Statesman)

[16] Application to Omit Lands that are Owned by the Federal Government 11-20-13 (November 20, 2013 Perkins and Trotter)

IDAHO AG-GAG LAWSUIT

Congratulations to Alma Hasse, Blair Koch, Will Potter, Sandpoint Vegetarians, and other plaintiffs challenging the illegal restrictions on whistleblowing free speech advanced by Idaho’s controversial “ag-gag” law, which could constrain public scrutiny of oil and gas activities on Idaho agricultural lands. On September 4, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Boise allowed their lawsuit to proceed against the state of Idaho, in the court case brought forward by a broad-based, public-interest coalition of non-profits and journalists, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Food Safety, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [17, 18].  The bill, Idaho Code 18-7042, signed into immediate effect in February 2014 by Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter, would criminalize free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.  Judge Winmill’s ruling refused to grant the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed in March 2014 in U.S. District Court in Idaho.  Inept state lawmakers and administrators striving to silence investigative activism and journalism and free speech are costing American and Idaho taxpayers millions of hard-earned dollars to defend this (and other!) indefensible laws that they have enacted with knowledge that the legislation cannot withstand legal challenges.

[17] Court Rules in Favor of Public Interest Coalition, Denies Idaho’s Motion to Dismiss Ag Gag Lawsuit (September 4, 2014 Animal Legal Defense Fund)

[18] Case 1:14-cv-00104-BLW Document 68 Memorandum Decision and Order (September 4, 2014 U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho)

SOUTHERN IDAHO NATURAL GAS PRICES

Apparently, the expansive “homegrown” energy that Governor Otter and the Idaho Legislature promised citizens and the natural gas price drop that industry ensured for Idaho consumers, as it brought natural gas wells online in southwestern Idaho, have not materialized. As working interest owners in the only active New Plymouth well, which is not producing as much gas as anticipated, Intermountain Gas representatives may have factored their losses into their request for natural gas rate increases in southern Idaho [19].  How can industry and government, who have cheated and lied to citizens, expect them to pay more for utilities affected by the bad decisions of corporations who only care about their bottom lines similarly bailed-out by Americans.  The free-market capitalism lauded by oil and gas development proponents would never condone such taxpayer handouts.

[19] Intermountain Gas Asks to Raise Prices to Meet Costs (September 5, 2014 Idaho Statesman)

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SUFFER

The rural people and local governments of Payette County, the first oil and gas sacrifice zone in Idaho, no thanks to local politicians’ blessings, can expect industry and higher government to ruin them. Although drillers say that they will not frack, they guaranteed that the Statehouse would allow this devastating practice.  Who is so recklessly willing to bet everything they value – health, safety, property values, and quality of life – on the word of such mercenaries?  The ultimate financial losers to an American fracking boom that may soon go bust are homeowners and local governments, as property values and property tax receipts near fracking operations can drop by 70 percent [20-22].  According to Doug Shields, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania instigator of the first U.S. fracking ban:

The shale gas market is an economic boon for the 30-odd states that permit fracking. The severance tax that states impose on the process adds up.  In 2010, it generated more than $11 billion.  The flow of that revenue goes straight into state and federal piggy banks, as does increased corporate income tax revenue from energy companies profiting from fracking.

Localities, however, enjoy no such benefits. Instead, they get stuck with all the fracking problems: noise from blasting, storage of toxic chemicals, degraded water sources, and heavy truck traffic, as well as the rising costs of cleaning up the detritus that fracking leaves behind.  North Dakota counties affected by hydraulic fracturing have reported to the state Department of Mineral Resources’ Oil and Gas Division that traffic, air pollution, jobsite and highway accidents, sexual assaults, bar fights, prostitution, and drunk driving have all increased.

In addition, fracking, in many cases, negatively impacts property values, which in turn depresses property tax revenue. For property owners who own the rights to the oil and gas on their lands, the effects of drilling can be offset by royalty payments.  But localities have no revenue offset if properties lose value.

[20] Fracking’s Financial Losers: Local Governments (September 2014 Governing)

[21] Fracking Losers: Local Government (September 14, 2014 No Fracking Way)

[22] The End of Fracking Is Closer Than You Think (September 8, 2014 Vice)


Filed under: Newsletters
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Patrick Mazza 9-15-14

Sat, 09/13/2014 - 15:30

The Monday, September 15, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Patrick Mazza, a long-time Washington state climate activist, co-founder of Climate Solutions, and member of 350 Seattle and Rising Tide Seattle.  As one of five Northwest fossil fuels resisters who blockaded an oil train at an Everett rail yard on September 2, Patrick discusses climate change, direct action, and political pressure to resolve impasses.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:15

In this explosive 2013 sequel to his Oscar-nominated, movement-building film Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox offers a deeper, broader perspective on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil occurring in 32 countries worldwide [1].  Gasland Part II reveals the high stakes on all sides of one of the most important environmental issues currently troubling our nation.  The documentary discloses the false industry portrayals of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil, as fracked wells inevitably leak toxic chemicals and the potent greenhouse gas, methane, over time.  To rush desperate development that contaminates water and air, threatens environmental and human health, harms families, animals, homes, and businesses, and endangers global climate, the powerful oil and gas industries undermine American democracy.  Join concerned Idahoans to ensure that people, not fossil fuel exploiters, decide the future of this country and protect Americans’ most basic rights.

Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (IRAGE) and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) are hosting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show, providing community screenings across Idaho and plenty of updates about the current oil and gas situation in Idaho.  These free, public events encourage citizen comments on recently revised state oil and gas rules before and/or at a Wednesday, September 24 hearing [2, 3], as well as statewide participation in grassroots protests during the Global Frackdown on the Capitol steps in Boise on Saturday, October 11 [4, 5], and at Idaho Department of Lands offices on Wednesday, October 15, opposing another state lands and minerals lease auction [6].  As residents of Payette and surrounding counties and southeastern Idaho face impending fracking, knowledgeable activists are eager to discuss initiatives against oil and gas leasing, drilling, processing, and transporting in Idaho, with audience members at these scheduled tour stops:

Moscow: Monday, September 15, 7 pm, Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 South Main Street (hosted by Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition)

Sandpoint: Tuesday, September 16, 5:30 pm, East Bonner County Library, 1407 Cedar Street

Coeur d’Alene: Wednesday, September 17, 5:30 pm, Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 East Front Avenue

McCall: Thursday, September 18, 6 pm, McCall Public Library, 218 East Park Street

Hailey: Friday, September 19, 3 pm, Hailey Public Library, 7 West Croy Street

Pocatello: Saturday, September 20, 12 noon, Marshall Public Library, 113 South Garfield Avenue

Boise: Sunday, September 21, 2 pm, Main (downtown) Boise Public Library Marion Bingham Room, 715 South Capitol Boulevard

Ontario, Oregon: Monday, September 22, 5:30 pm, Ontario Community Library, 388 SW Second Avenue

WIRT and IRAGE extend hearty thanks to everyone who has arranged and contributed toward these screenings, as we together work to mobilize Idaho communities against corporate/government dirty energy inroads into our state.  Over just the last year, WIRT has ventured to Oregon, Montana, and the southern and northern parts of Idaho four times each for various campaigns.  Such extensive travel across our vast region has cost thousands of volunteer dollars.  Please consider generously supporting this $500 road show through the “Donate to WIRT” button on the WIRT website or at the address on our facebook and website pages.  Help us promote these crucial presentations that organize greater fracking resistance by sharing this announcement, printing and widely posting the Gasland 2 Idaho Road Show Flyer, and participating in one of these community screenings and conversations.  Contact IRAGE and WIRT to learn more about these and other opportunities to stop fracking in Idaho [7].

[1] Gasland Part II (Josh Fox)

[2] Comments on Proposed Negotiated Idaho Oil and Gas Rules (August 1, 2014 Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction and Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[3] Oil and Gas: Rulemaking for IDAPA 20.07.02 Rules Pertaining to Conservation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas (2014 Idaho Department of Lands)

[4] Global Frackdown! in Boise 9-22-12 (September 24, 2012 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[5] Idaho Global Frackdown 2 10-19-13 (October 19, 2013 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

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

[7] Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction (Idaho Residents Against Gas Extraction)


Filed under: Events, Idaho Fracking
Categories: Climate Change

Climate Justice Forum: Don Steinke 9-1-14

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 16:45

The Monday, September 1, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) gratefully welcomes Don Steinke, a retired high school science teacher, member of Rising Tide, and a lead volunteer with the Sierra Club Beyond Coal and Oil Task Force in southwestern Washington.  Don will discuss the proposed Tesoro Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington, Northwest oil by rail, citizen resistance to these incursions, and their regional and global climate change impacts.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news and dirty energy developments, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her/his KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum
Categories: Climate Change

Report on Three Actions: Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:00

Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports 8-16-14 (August 16, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide photos)

During the week of August 10, grassroots groups and peaceful protesters coordinated and staged regional actions against increased coal train traffic in interior Northwest communities and West Coast coal exports [1-3].  Sponsored by several climate and tribal organizations, including 350-Missoula, Blue Skies Campaign, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), Indian People’s Action, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide, activists held gatherings, speeches, rallies, marches, and train blockades in eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.  Together, they catalyzed growing inland Northwest opposition largely dismissed by federal and state regulatory processes determining the fate of Powder River Basin coal mines and three proposed coal export facilities at Cherry Point and Longview, Washington, and Boardman, Oregon.

Boardman, Oregon

On Tuesday, August 12, over 40 dedicated people from western Oregon and about a dozen folks from eastern Oregon traveled up to 12 hours via bus and passenger vehicles, through summer storms with wind gusts, heavy rain, and lightning, to the Port of Morrow conference center in Boardman, Oregon [4].  At the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a 401 water quality certification for Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific coal train terminal, coal export opponents convened a lovely pre-hearing picnic, packed the room, and voiced resistance through about 75 percent of the amazing citizen testimony and inquiries during a DEQ question-and-(un)answer session.  Among health professionals, longshore and warehouse union workers, and eastern Oregon residents, Umatilla tribal representatives spoke powerfully against coal export impacts, offering many compelling reasons to deny state permit approval.  Chief Carl Sampson of the Wallulapum Tribe of the CTUIR welcomed coal export opponents and offered strong words, as did his daughter Cathy Sampson-Kruse, his granddaughter Mariah, and Umatilla Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Burke.

Missoula, Montana

Saturday, August 16, brought nonviolent civil disobedience to a Missoula, Montana, rail line for the second time this year, as Montana writer Rick Bass and three concerned Missoula community members stood on both sides of train tracks and temporarily delayed a coal train [5].  While 50 supporters cheered from the sidelines and forced an inbound coal train to crawl through Hellgate Canyon, police arrested and removed the four brave protesters from the path of the oncoming train in the railroad right-of-way, citing them for trespass and releasing them for appearances in court next week.  In April 2014, police similarly arrested seven people during civil disobedience that delayed an outbound train carrying coal.  Author of nonfiction novels and books, Rick Bass read from his current work to the gathering of coal export opponents and asserted that uncovered, dirty coal shipments by rail through Montana towns, moving all the time through all kinds of weather, violate the Montana constitution and contribute toward still correctable climate change.

Sandpoint, Idaho

In the midst of an intensive week of tar sands refinery megaload protests in northern Idaho, Wild Idaho Rising Tide and allied activists gathered in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Saturday, August 16, for a rally, march, and protest of coal export trains traversing and polluting Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth deepest lake in the U.S. [6]  Meeting in Farmin Park, friends and family members brought their protest signs, voices, and chants, and walked through the various parts of the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint, distributing WIRT brochures and urging convergence and participation in the upcoming march.  Activists walked and chanted “Save Our Lake, No Coal Trains!” for a mile on downtown sidewalks and along the paved, lakeside Sagle-to-Sandpoint community trail that merges into the pedestrian bridge paralleling the two-mile vehicular span of the U.S. Highway 95 Long Bridge.  Among human and canine visitors and swimmers at the sandy, public Dog Beach between the highway and the mile-long, railroad trestle bridge, on which dusty coal trains cross Lake Pend Oreille, participants stood in solidarity with regional action partners and 75 Northwest activists arrested during coal export protests over the last few years.  They supported and immediately shared news of Missoula rail line blockaders arrested concurrently and of the Confederated Umatilla Tribes’ honorable rejection of Morrow Pacific bribes to build and benefit from the Coyote Island Terminal in Boardman.  Local protesters noted that the nearby train tracks remained eerily but thankfully vacant during the hours-long Sandpoint action.

Coal Impacts, Protests, & Support

Several coal trains per day currently pass from Montana and Wyoming mines, through Missoula, Sandpoint, and other inland Northwest communities, to Canadian ports that ship coal overseas.  If state and federal agencies grant pending permits to precariously financed coal companies, to begin construction of controversial new coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington and to open vast eastern Montana lands to coal mining, the number of full and empty coal trains moving through the region each day could increase by as many as thirty.  Unlike the threatened impacts of oil trains, each of the dozens of additional, heavy coal trains per day, 1.5 miles long with their 125 cars, would incessantly spew toxic coal dust, diesel fumes, noise, and periodically derailed loads (especially in and around Lake Pend Oreille), would disrupt local transportation, businesses, emergency responses, and economies, and would degrade railroad tracks, native lands and watersheds, property values, public health, quality of life, and regional identity.  These corporate ventures would cost substantial taxpayer investments supporting the required project infrastructure and mitigating the predictable damages of coal export.  Three proposed West Coast and Columbia River coal terminals and ship transport of coal to Asian markets for combustion would compromise air and water quality, jeopardize aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, and significantly exacerbate global climate change.

But as coal export by rail through the region massively increases, coal and railroad companies can expect increasingly frequent protests, including acts of nonviolent civil disobedience that express heightened concerns about this onslaught, like these August 12 and 16 demonstrations.  Residents of four states will continue to work with the hundreds of frontline communities who live along railroad sacrifice zones, to stop polluting coal trains by every means.  As we together peacefully escalate this movement against dirty energy in new and bolder ways, organizing citizens and pressuring coal and railroad companies and supportive political officials through further, coordinated, regional actions resisting coal export, we ask that you support the grassroots groups who daily risk their freedom to protect our communities and climate from the coal, oil, and gas industries.  Please donate to the legal defense fund of Blue Skies Campaign and help cover the travel and legal costs crucial to Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s ongoing work [7, 8].

Critical Coal Export Permit Denied!

According to Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) on Monday denied a removal/fill permit necessary for Ambre Energy’s proposed Morrow Pacific coal export facilities on the Columbia River in Boardman, Oregon: the Coyote Island Terminal [9].  In the wake of coal export protests in Boardman, Missoula, and Sandpoint over the last week, this news offers welcome relief that Ambre Energy’s coal export dreaming days are numbered.  The financially risky, Australia-based company would ship 8.8 million tons of coal per year on hundreds of coal trains through the region and on thousands of coal barges down the Columbia River, further disrupting our climate with dangerous carbon pollution.  This DSL decision represents a defining, historic moment for the Northwest and the entire country of activists and communities resisting coal exports and other mega fossil fuel projects.  It ensures that Ambre cannot immediately start construction on its coal train terminal dock and warehouses at Boardman and thus offers temporary protection of clean water and climate, healthy salmon and wildlife, and strong public health, safety, and economies.  While the Oregon DEQ deliberates its possible issuance of key water quality permits, please contact the state agency and insist that it upholds the best interests of regional citizens [10].

Congratulations and thanks!

[1] Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports: Join the Action on August 16 (Blue Skies Campaign)

[2] Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports (Blue Skies Campaign)

[3] Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports (August 16, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Greg Sotir photo (August 14, 2014 Columbia Riverkeeper)

[5] Montana Writer and Missoula Community Members Delay Coal Train (August 16, 2014 Blue Skies Campaign)

[6] Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports 8-16-14 (August 16, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Donate (Blue Skies Campaign)

[8] Support WIRT (Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[9] Victory! Coal Export Permit Denied! (August 18, 2014 Columbia Riverkeeper)

[10] Public Hearing: DEQ Draft 401 Water Quality Certification for Ambre Energy (August 6, 2014 Columbia Riverkeeper)


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

Sunday Night Megaload Protest Around Idaho Highway 200

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 18:00

Multiple on-site and network sources confirmed at about 9:30 pm on Friday, August 15, that the Calumet tar sands refinery hydrocracker section hauled by Bigge Crane and Rigging would not move on Friday and Saturday nights, August 15 and 16.  Although the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has released the Bigge transportation plan for hauling this million-pound transport on the most convoluted route ever across Idaho and Montana to Great Falls, and several mainstream media sources have circulated information about its Montana route, it is unclear whether MDT has yet issued Bigge a Montana megaload permit [1].  The agency generally does not allow oversize rig travel during the day or on weekend (Friday and Saturday) nights.  As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) compiles a comprehensive report about the last week of megaload protesting, monitoring, and formal petitioning in Idaho, as well as a description of upcoming Montana megaload transit plans and associated resistance, please provide an appropriate send-off to the Bigge/Calumet load and convoy that have so thoroughly degraded public resources and democracy in Idaho.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide is deeply grateful for the enthusiastic and experienced commitment and camaraderie of the progressive Idaho panhandle community, shared during respective Thursday and Saturday Sandpoint protests of this inbound refinery component and outbound coal export shipments.  We are depending on the strength and spirit of a great group of protestors converging in Hope and Clark Fork to oppose the passage of the Bigge/Calumet hydrocracker megaload on its last night in Idaho.  Early on Friday morning, Bigge parked its payload, trailers, and trucks at Idaho Highway 200 milepost 44.4, just west of Hope, Idaho, in anticipation of movement on Sunday night or later [2].  The convoy will travel on Business Highway 200 through Hope and East Hope, use jump bridges to traverse Strong and Riser Creeks, and risk sharp turns from Wellington Place to Centennial Boulevard and back onto Highway 200, not to mention the hazards of roadside cliffs and sloughing roadway along nearby Lake Pend Oreille wetlands and shorelines.  Please see Idaho and Montana Bigge transportation plans posted on the WIRT website and bring your friends, family, and protest signs to gather outside the Old Ice House Pizzeria, 140 West Main Street in Hope, at 9 pm on Sunday, August 17, and to monitor and protest the last 18 miles of this Alberta tar sands/Bakken shale oil infrastructure onslaught through Idaho [3-5].

[1] Million-Pound Megaload Will Roll through Bull, Swan Valleys (August 15, 2014 Ravalli Republic)

[2] Bigge-Hauled Calumet Hydrocracker Section at Idaho Highway 200 Milepost 44, Idaho 8-15-14 (August 15, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[3] ITD Highway 95 & 200 Megaload Public Records 7-31-14 (July 31, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Old Ice House Pizzeria, 140 West Main Street in Hope, Idaho (August 17, 2014 Google Maps)

[5] Biggest Megaload Never! (August 10, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)


Filed under: Alerts, Mammoet 2014 Megaloads
Categories: Climate Change

Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 17:30

On Saturday, August 16, and during the previous week, grassroots groups are holding a coordinated day of peaceful actions, to protest the passage of coal trains through interior Northwest communities [1, 2].  From Montana and Wyoming to Oregon and Washington, proposals to bring more polluting coal trains through the region impact dozens of communities along rail lines, who are organizing to protect their towns from coal exports.  This summer, 350-Missoula, Blue Skies Campaign, Indian People’s Action, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and other organizations are together catalyzing this movement against dirty energy in new and bolder ways, evident in this regional day of action.

As inland Northwest citizens largely dismissed by the federal and state regulatory processes that determine the fate of three proposed coal export facilities at Cherry Point and Longview, Washington, and Boardman, Oregon, we stand in solidarity with Northwest tribes and climate activists resisting these West Coast ports and Powder River Basin coal mines that despoil native lands and watersheds and ultimately global climate [3].  While Oregon agencies deliberate their possible issuance of key permits allowing financially risky, Australia-based Ambre Energy to begin construction on the controversial Morrow Pacific coal train terminal dock and warehouses at Boardman, we support friends among the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, who rejected  the companies’ bribes of up to $800,000 per year to partner in and benefit from building this Coyote Island Terminal and shipping 8.8 million tons of coal per year down the Columbia River [4, 5].

Residents of four states will continue to work to stop coal exports by every means, including arrestable, nonviolent civil disobedience, as we pressure coal and railroad companies and political officials who support them.  With our protests, we honor the 71 brave Northwest activists who have endured arrest and citation during occupations of coal train tracks and public buildings in Bellingham, Washington (December 2011), White Rock, British Columbia (May 2012), Helena, Montana (August 2012 and September 2013), Spokane, Washington (June 2013), and Missoula, Montana (April 2014), as interior Northwest groups further coordinate regional demonstrations resisting coal export that started in January 2013 [6, 7].

Citizens involved in these August 2014 protests express heightened concerns about proposals to massively increase coal export by rail through their region: corporate ventures that would cost substantial taxpayer investments supporting the required coal export project infrastructure and mitigating the predictable damages of this corporate onslaught.  Unlike the threatened impacts of oil trains, each of the dozens of additional, heavy coal trains per day, 1.5 miles long with their 125 cars, would incessantly spew toxic coal dust, diesel fumes, derailed loads, and noise (especially in and around Lake Pend Oreille), would disrupt local transportation, businesses, emergency responses, and economies, and would degrade public health, quality of life, property values, railroad tracks, and regional identity.  Three proposed West Coast and Columbia River coal terminals and ship transport of coal to Asian markets for combustion would compromise air and water quality, jeopardize aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, and significantly exacerbate global climate change.

Converge with WIRT and allied activists from across northern Idaho for a march and protest of coal export in downtown Sandpoint, beginning at the clock in Farmin Park, at North Third Avenue and Main Street, at 12 noon on Saturday, August 16.  Please bring your family and friends, coal export protest signs, banners, and props, musical instruments, voices, and chants, but especially your spirit of King Coal resistance and solidarity with the thousands of frontline communities who live along railroad sacrifice zones.  Carpools from the Palouse region depart the WIRT Activists House in Moscow (call 208-301-8039 for the address) at 9:30 am and return by 5 pm.  Please join us for this day of nonviolent actions, whether or not you are ready to risk arrest, as we together peacefully escalate this movement.

[1] Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports: Join the Action on August 16 (Blue Skies Campaign)

[2] Northwest Communities Oppose Coal Exports (Blue Skies Campaign)

[3] Four-State Coal Export Protests and Hearings (November 8, 2012 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[4] Ambre Energy: Caveat Investor (February 13, 2013 Sightline Institute)

[5] Umatilla Tribes Resist Coal Train Export Terminal (July 9, 2014 Union-Bulletin)

[6] 148 Northwest Fossil Fuel Resistance Arrests and Citations (August 1, 2014 Wild Idaho Rising Tide)

[7] Coal Export Resistance Solidarity Actions: 1-11 to 1-20-13 (January 11, 2013 WIRT and allied photos)


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

Pages