All Against the Haul

Tar Sands Mining Equipment by Anonymous

Resistance is fertile.

Last week, almost 100 people from Idaho, Montana, Washington, Utah, Oregon, California, Oklahoma and different parts of Canada converged outside of Missoula, MTĀ  for the anti-tar sands resistance summit.

Oregon, Idaho and Montana’s transportation corridor for heavy hauls of mining equipment are fast becoming a hub of resistance to tar sands oil expansion. Companies like Exxon and Conoco Phillips have spent millions in hauling this equipment from South Korea, up the Columbia and Snake Rivers to Lewiston, ID where they are awaiting transport on big rigs to Alberta. Once in Alberta they will continue the expansion of tar sands to feed the Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines with oil to Asia and the United States.

Northern Rockies Rising Tide, Northern Rockies Earth First!, various community and environmental groups in Idaho and Montana, Cascadia Rising Tide and the Indigenous Environmental Network have created networks with plans to stop and slow down tar sands expansion in the transportation corridor.

Also represented were groups fighting tar sands in Utah (90% of U.S. tar sands are in Utah), the Keystone XL pipeline development through the U.S. mid-west and the Gateway pipeline expansion through British Columbia.

The summit was marked by non-violent direct action trainings and network strategy development. The fight against the heavy hauls has been in the Idaho courts and will then go into Montana courts after that. Municipalities like Missoula are also lining up to block the heavy hauls through their boundaries.

Tar sands oil extraction is one of the most carbon intensive projects on the planet causing many air and water quality problems for populations near the extractive areas.

For more details on the issue, check out “The Globalizing of North American Colonialism.

6 Responses to “All Against the Haul”

  1. 1 free transit Nov 28th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    While you are trying to stop fossil-fuel supply, a billion people are looking forward to the promise of suburban car-dependent life. This demand will overwhelm your efforts. We need a system change. We need to end the private auto and sprawl, move back to the city, educate all children, and stop believing in growth. As long as there is sprawl and growth, there will be energy waste, and suppliers will have too much political power. Poor people will see your actions as an upper-class movement and be easily turned on you by demagogues.

  2. 2 Scott Nov 28th, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Yeah, well the frontline of resistance to the heavy haul are rural people in Idaho and Montana, hardly an upper middle class group of people. When you’re able to break an addiction being propped by gov’t bailouts, let us know. We’re down with ya.

  3. 3 Zack Nov 29th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    As a participant in last week’s summit, I wanted to extend a thanks to “It’s Getting Hot in Here” for spreading word about the event.

    I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about the Heavy Haul/megaloads issue to check out a brand new website:

    While you’re there, please sign our petition to keep these monster tar sands loads out of the Northwest.

    And be sure to spread the word!

  4. 4 JP Nov 29th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    As a native Montana and a current Seattleite, I’m stoked to see this networking happening around tar sands. This is a national issue and it’s time we recognized how many states are going to be impacted. I’ll be watching and listening for more calls to action.

  1. 1 Experiments with truth: 11/29/10 / Waging Nonviolence Trackback on Nov 29th, 2010 at 9:05 am
  2. 2 “All Against the Haul” « Climate Justice Links Trackback on Nov 29th, 2010 at 10:26 pm
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Scott Parkin is a Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network and organizes with Rising Tide North America. He has worked on a variety of campaigns around climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mountaintop removal, labor issues and anti-corporate globalization. Originally from Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.

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