Movement of giant oil equipment through Montana sparks Missoula protest

Oversized, outsized equipment protest. . . the first of years of citizen anger against environmental disruption and traffic delays?

It seems to me that this will not be a one time event because the passage of this huge equipment through north central Idaho and then Montana will be ongoing for many years.

Missoula demonstrators protest big rigs, fossil fuels at Exxon station. By Gwen Florio.  Missoulian



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  1. Salle Avatar

    So where the hell are the federal designates who should be vocal on this issue? Apparently they are content to let the state clowns take the rap for being so greedy and stupid while the fed gang are just standing by waiting for it to become too late to do anything of value, at least with regard to the public land and federally designated protection for some wild and scenic places. I think that Salazar and Vilsack ought to be held accountable on this as well for allowing this issue to get to this point, especially with allowing that equipment to even make it to the port of Lewiston.

    There’s no way that stuff can go up the Lochsa River via US12 without major alterations to too many miles of the route. Hell it’s hard enough to get a twenty foot straight truck through there… Wild an Scenic doesn’t really mean anything anymore I guess.

    I’m more than just pissed off about this but feel helpless to do anything about it that would reap results in the form of forcing that heap of Korean steel to find its way back down river and to some steel recycling facility. The oilsands aren’t viable as an energy source, especially when ecological degradation is included in the mix, and they don’t have any real potential to bring jobs to the region ~ unless, of course, they are referring to the thugs that will have to be hired to suppress protests.

  2. Nancy Avatar

    Looks like Leahy is taking this on plus a few other concerned senators.

    1. Salle Avatar

      Thanks for posting that, Nancy.

      It’s a damned god thing Sen. Leahy is the firebrand he is and is questioning the two-faced attitude that the governing bodies have posited. What I see as the great problem is that the public isn’t vocal enough, partly because we are herded into giving the majority of our time to the corporate interests and have too much fear of losing jobs etc. by going against those few who employ those of us who actually still have jobs.

      Personally, I am quite weary from it all and that tin ear effect that is exercised by the legislative and executive bodies of our government really piss me off. I’m fed up with them making bad decisions on my behalf, so they claim. they aren’t making any decisions that are on my behalf since they are merely covering their cloak of corporate interests by claiming that it’s for my benefit…

      What I have proposed in the past and propose now is a general nationwide strike, simultaneous and large. Many denounce the French for their shut-downs and protests, but you know what (?), they get their concerns heard and addressed – one way or another. I think that if we don’t display some spine and let the corporate government know that we are fed up with the feudalistic approach to corporate leadership, they will undoubtedly foist more devastating redistribution of power moves upon us by making sure that only the wealthy have any voice, any power to choose, and total control over our daily lives and the means by which we are allowed to survive by making the wealthy richer and fewer in number. They already do it now, so the only thing we have left to lose is everything else we have – and I don’t mean our TVs and houses… I think that, like with most predators, standing one’s ground upon attack ~ as with elk who confront their predators by facing them and not running away ~ is the best way to discourage a kill.

      A general strike is a drastic move but I feel it may be our only option at this point. I live without corporate rulership, I bet more folks could if they felt it was worth the short-term inconvenience and eschew the distraction industry for a couple days in order to renew their stake in life itself. Hell, so many Americans have lost everything in the last decade that there must be plenty who would be glad to welcome some other form of social structure than corporatocracy – aka feudalism erroneously labeled “democracy” and “freedom”.

      This issue, the tarsands oil and all its destruction, is surely one that should not be swept under the rug as it sets precedent for so many other concerns over biospheric health, and ultimately survival of all species, including us.

  3. monty Avatar

    To add insult to injury, the Alberta tar sands is the dirtiest energy the planet has ever seen. It’s part of the Old Industrial Revolution that pollutes the air, water and soil that measures “progress” by how much natural capital that can be dug up, buried, burned or otherwisw destroyed.

  4. Nancy Avatar

    Contacted Senator Leahy’s office after I read that article and thanked him for his (and others) efforts to address this situation. More of us need to recognize, write and support those politicians, regardless of which state they represent, who stick their necks above the corporate BS clouding so many decisions being made in Washington.

    1. Salle Avatar

      Thanks for reminding me, I’ve done that in the past, recently in fact, and my hopes were not dashed but I suppose that my letter only had so much effect. But if a lot of people do that, it can have more probability of having an effect. It’s about the best we can hope for with a letter.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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