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Tar Sands Film Comes To GU Thursday

Last Rush for the Wild West - Facebook

A film that takes a critical look at tar sands and oil shale mining will screen at Gonzaga University Thursday. The film “Last Rush for the Wild West” take a look at a project that the director says is the most critical environmental problem facing the US today. It is a proposed strip mine that would cover a million acres near the headwaters of the Colorado River in Utah.

Director Jennifer Ekstrom, who was formerly the Pend O'reille water-keeper, says the mining process will pose a direct threat to millions of people downstream.

Ekstrom: “We’ll have millions of acres of pulverized sand that has hydrocarbon and solvent residue in it , so storms will seep through and carry those chemicals and pollutants into the Green River and then into the Colorado River.”

Ekstrom says Inland Northwest residents may also be impacted by the proposal, as plans for shipping the oil are being studied.

Ekstrom: “It will either need to go by truck or by rail to ports to be exported, and were already seeing so many problems with these explosive oil trains coming through the northwest and it’s already an explosive oil that would be extracted.”

Much of the project still needs permitting from Utah officials.

The film, “Last Rush for the Wild West: Tar Sands, Oil Shale and the American Frontier” will be screened at Gonzaga University on Thursday beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Wolfe Auditorium at the Jepson Center. A Q-and-A session will follow the film.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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