Monday, April 26, 2010

Activists host Imperial Oil shipment open house

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 12:00 PM

As part of this week's Earth Day feature, the Independent profiled the young activist group Northern Rockies Rising Tide (NRRT) and their ongoing fight against climate change and social injustice. True to their word in the story, NRRT will co-host an open house at the University of Montana on April 27 to discuss the proposed use of Montana highways to ship mining and oil rig equipment to a tar sands operation in northeastern Alberta. The company behind the proposal, Imperial Oil, plans to spend $26.1 million to ship the massive loads from a South Korean manufacturer to the resource extraction site.

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NRRT and its co-hosts, including UM Climate Action Now, have openly condemned not only the proposal but Imperial Oil's Alberta operation as a whole. Members of the group told the Indy earlier this month that they consider the passing of hundreds of truckloads of equipment through Missoula their opportunity to directly oppose rampant oil development in Canada. They're currently encouraging the Montana Department of Transportation to refuse the proposed shipping route, and question the department's recently released environmental assessment.

"By only completing the Montana Environmental Assessment Exxon Mobil is circumventing any federal process that would require them to look at the shipment route as a whole," NRRT said in a statement today. "We need to press the Montana DOT to submit to a federal Environmental Impact Statement to take into full account all the damages that Tar Sands mining generates."

ExxonMobil is the majority shareholder in Imperial Oil.

The open house will be held in room 330 of the University Center at 6:30 p.m. April 27. NRRT also released information on a series of public hearings to be held regarding MDT's environmental assessment. The Missoula hearing will take place at 6 p.m. April 29 at Meadow Hill Middle School on Reserve Street.

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