09/17/2013 Leave a comment
Clearwater National Forest Highway 12 visitidaho.org
Over 100 miles of a 2-lane highway between the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers, scenic and federally protected rivers, several companies want to try to drive a 322 ton evaporator. In response to a lawsuit brought by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United, a federal district court judge has ruled that there must first be a study of the environmental, economic and tribal impacts.
The companies want to take the evaporator from Lewiston, Idaho to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. They had ignored objections from the Forest Service and started the transport without approval. In August over 150 people blocked the highway for three hours. The Nez Perce issued a statement opposing the shipment because of risks to treaty-preserved resources, tribal commerce, health and welfare.
In Alberta, the evaporator would be used to process oil.Over two billion barrels of water is pumped yearly from the Athabasca River, and superheated to wash oil out of the sands, and much of that dirty water ends up in tailings ponds that now cover 66 square miles of what was virgin boreal forest. The process requires a great deal of energy, to scoop out the tar sands, heat, separate and transport them. If the value of damage to the forest and water resources were included in the price of oil, our transportation costs would be lower if we develop electric vehicles instead, and solar and wind energy to charge them.