Victory: Highway to Hell Defeated
From the desk of Pat Ford
The threat from Exxon to the lower Snake River and Idaho/Montana Highway 12 is over, at least for now. Today Imperial Oil, owned by Exxon, withdrew its application to the Montana Department of Transportation to transport massive tar sands machinery through Montana on Highway 12 and other roads.
This is a victory for salmon, rivers, and people. The residents along the route, who organized against one of the world's largest corporations despite "no chance" they could prevail, deserve the greatest credit. Thank you, Borg and Lin and all your neighbors in two states for Fighting Goliath (check that: for Slaying Goliath). SOS members who deserve thanks include Idaho Rivers United, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and National Wildlife Federation. So do Advocates for the West, All Against the Haul, and Western Environmental Law Center. Great thanks to the Nez Perce and Salish-Kootenai Tribes, and special thanks to Rick Bass, Steve Hawley, and David James Duncan.
I am glad SOS, led by Sam Mace, played a small role in helping achieve this outcome. Northwest people do not have to simply accept that companies and governments intent on cooking our planet's waters can freely pass through our towns and landscapes in pursuit of that goal, whatever the damage caused to accomodate them. Citizens can fight back, and can win.