Mega-Slow Omega Load Still in OR, Take Action Now!
As the longest and heaviest piece of tar sands equipment to date lies grounded in Oregon, waiting for the weather to improve , activists across the region are mobilizing and gearing up for its inevitable trek through Idaho and Montana. Other than being an extra-massive piece of equipment that requires extra-legal permitting, the story with this first of three pieces of equipment is the same. The forward march of the fossil fuel industry is seeking industrial corridors for their infrastructure — to expand and exploit massive reserves of oil sands in (so-called) Alberta.
In the process of exploring, developing and opening up new infrastructure corridors they (shipping companies and oil corporations) threaten rural communities with a nightmarish industrial future. And this is just for equipment headed to commercial operations in Canada. What many in the struggle are not yet focussing on is U.S. tar sands development in Utah, which may contain up to 7 times the recoverable oil as Alberta. Imagine what the Northwest would look like if that comes to fruition. More notably these corridors (and their associated export terminals, pipelines, mining operations and disposal sites) threaten tribal territories and indigenous self determination. On the bright side, these projects have have ignited a powerful resistance to the entire fossil fuel agenda among red nations across turtle island (North America).
There are no signs that the oil sands industry will slow down anytime soon. There is no question, however, that more people are aware of its destruction — with every new piece of equipment, every new oil spill, every front line testimony and every act of resistance to the cogs of the big oil machine. And more of those people are willing to take direct action to slow it down. Before there is a critical mass of resistance to physically shut down the tar sands, all we can do is slow them down, cost them money and malign their practitioners.
For these Omega-Morgan loads there are several things you can do RIGHT NOW. While plans are in the works for a more direct response please consider taking the time to use these avenues to slow the loads movement.
1) Tell the MT Department of Transportation not to grant special travel permits by filling out this form. Some talking points to consider:
• MDT and ITD should not issue a permit to Omega-Morgan to transport the 900,000-pound load moving through Oregon. • Due to winter conditions and the load’s size, it is not likely to meet Montana’s 10-minute rule nor Idaho’s 15-minute rule — that is, not likely to meet each state’s mandated traffic delay limits for oversize load transport permits. • Travel delays caused by this oversize load could prevent Montana and Idaho citizens from accessing critical emergency services. • MDT and ITD should conduct detailed environmental analysis and allow members of the public to comment before it even considers issuing a permit to Omega Morgan.
Stay tuned to this blog, our listserv and FB pages for notices about any rallies and actions associated with these shipments in the coming weeks.