Exxon-Mobil has backed down in its quest to turn a remote and wild stretch of the Rocky Mountains into an industrial transportation corridor.
E-M has formally withdrawn its application with the state of Montana to ship thousands of mega-sized tractor trailers, filled with tar sands equipment, along the pristine Lolo Pass, high up in the Rocky Mountains.
Millions of people sent messages to the state of Montana and the U.S. Forest Service and helped persuade officials to delay the project last year. Now, in the face of overwhelming public opposition, E-M has officially thrown in the towel.
E-M’s frightening plan called for hauling mining equipment, some of it as long as 64 metres and over 140,000 kilograms, through this vulnerable ecosystem and onward to Canada.
Not only would building the transportation corridor have destroyed one of the most beautiful stretches of the Lewis and Clark trail, it would have paved the way for E-M to extract more oil through the dirty process of tar sands mining.
In Canada, tar sands development has already caused devastation in the boreal forest — creating vast toxic waste sites, destroying critical wildlife habitat for millions of migratory birds, and generating three times the amount of Global Warming pollution as conventional fuel production.
With this victory, residents in Rocky Mountain communities on both sides of the border can breathe easier. That is, unless they're in the areas of wildfire being triggered by Global Warming temperature rises.