Oil company megaloads to stay at port in Lewiston for Christmas

Idaho activists successfully delay megaloads into 2011-

Hearing officer does not issue a decision on the international oil company megaloads sitting at the Port of Lewiston, Idaho. Decision will be coming out at an undefined future date.

No ruling before Christmas on megaloads. Lewiston (ID) Tribune on-line

More Lolo Pass Megaloads Opponents Emerge

Impacts of giant oil machinery on roadside business and emergency medical care on Highway 12 questioned-

Imagine you live on Highway12 and have a medical emergency. It’s night. If you can get to Lewiston or Orofino for care, you will live. Your spouse gets you into the pickup and pulls out onto Highway12, but a giant oil rig from Korea or China blocks the entire highway including the borrow pit.

An American family, now reduced to the status of peasants, has their father or mother die as international oil plows its way to Albertan tar sand pits.

More Lolo Pass Megaloads Opponents Emerge. By Steve Bunk. New West

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Much awaited hearing: Oil companys says plaintiffs in Highway 12 suit lack standing

Hearing officer limits testimony he will consider to small matters-

The much awaited hearing on giant oil machinery on Highway 12 was held today in Boise. It sounds like the Idaho Dept. of Transportation hearing officer will oil the way for the movement of the giant oil modules.

The hearing officer said he would only consider the first 4 modules, not the hundreds more to follow. The first 4 go to the Billings, Montana refinery, not Alberta’s tar sand pits.

The oil company said the plaintiffs, 4 citizens along Highway 12, lack standing to because they weren’t singled out — the transport won’t affect them to any greater extent than other citizens along the highway. Happily for Conoco, the hearing officer also said he would limit his review to whether foes have a right to get involved at this stage of the process.”

Oil company says foes lack standing in US 12 case. By Todd Dvorak. AP (from Business Week)

Boise Weekly has a story giving more of the color of the hearing. Overflow Hearing on Oversized Loads. By George Prentice.

Idaho issues oversized load permits, but stays shipments for now

Public input is required, but conditional permits are issued-

Note: the hearing will be on Friday, Nov. 19 in Boise. The hearing will be at ITD Headquarters in Boise, 3311 W. State Street. (208) 334-8000

Advocates for the West won a brief victory Friday on behalf of local residents of Highway 12. These temporarily block the first 4 shipments (which go to Billings not Canada). They are for ConocoPhillips. Later ExxonMobil seeks to move over 200 giant shipments over the highway, which parallels the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers, over Lolo Pass and through Montana to Alberta.

“Each of the Exxon loads would weigh 300 tons, stretch 227 feet long, reach 27 feet high and 29 feet in width – wide enough to take up both lanes of the highway. Trucks would move only at night and pull over in newly designed turnouts during the day.” Read more of this AP story by Todd Dvorak.

It has been discovered that oil companies plan to use scenic, narrow Highway 12 for at least a decade for hauling giant equipment, so this will be a continuing issue if big oil wins.

Idaho Supreme Court ruling gives big hope to oil companies

Idaho’s highest court rules Judge John Bradbury lacked jurisdiction-

This is not an immediate go ahead for the oil companies to move up Highway 12, but hopes for a quick kill of the oil juggernaut are gone.

Update: I understand that this decision might allow the movement of 4 large coke drums up Highway 12. These are bound for Billings, not Alberta. Winter will soon be closing in, making movement soon before transportation becomes too difficult in the winter.

Idaho Court Tosses megaloads ruling. By JOHN MILLER – Associated Press.

Leading the fight against the international dirty oil consortium is the Idaho public interest law firm, Advocates for the West.

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There is a good update and analysis of the ruling in New West. Latest Ruling on Big Rigs and Highway 12 Not About Merits of the Case. The majority opinion for the Nov. 1 Idaho Supreme Court ruling cites jurisdiction questions in its overruling a lower-court decision in August that stopped the transport. By Steve Bunk, 11-02-10

Movement of giant oil equipment through Montana sparks Missoula protest

Oversized, outsized equipment protest. . . the first of years of citizen anger against environmental disruption and traffic delays?

It seems to me that this will not be a one time event because the passage of this huge equipment through north central Idaho and then Montana will be ongoing for many years.

Missoula demonstrators protest big rigs, fossil fuels at Exxon station. By Gwen Florio.  Missoulian

Third oil company looks to bring big rigs over U.S. Highway 12

Worst case scenario seems correct-

The Missoulian reports that a subsidiary of the national oil company of Korea now wants to use scenic U.S. Highway 12 through north central Idaho and over Lolo Pass to transport numerous giant oil (tar sands) equipment to Alberta.

Despite worthless assurances about this kind of activity being a one time thing, it’s plainly obvious that as predicted the oil companies mean to make the highway along this asphalt ribbon through the wilderness an equipment hauling route.

This will slowly ruin the lives to downstream residents who have to endure these highway blockages, disrupt traffic into Montana, harm the Lochsa, and Middle Fork of the Clearwater River, and make recreational and timber cutting access into the surrounding mountains slow and difficult by requiring long alternative routes.

Third oil company looks to bring big rigs over U.S. Highway 12. By Kim Briggeman of the Missoulian.

The Lochsa River. North Central Idaho. Copyright Ralph Maughan

While Highway 12 through Idaho is just a 2-line highway, its improvement over the years (a gravel road until the 1960s) has long disrupted the lives of people. In the past it was Montana. A number of abandoned Eastern Montana towns came to their end as transport of their grain changed from the railroads to trucks going in the opposite direction down Highway 12.