Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Upcoming Dates

Idaho Transportation Director Schedules Highway 12 Hearings
The contested case hearings are scheduled for Boise, December 8th and 9th, time and place yet to be determined. Merlyn Clark will continue to serve as hearing officer. The hearing is open to the public. Both sides in the case will present arguments and call witnesses to testify. No public comments from the floor will be taken.

Read more:


Film about Highway 12 to be shown at Wilma Dec. 2nd, 7pm Local filmmaker Holly Schroeder will introduce "Big Rigs," her look at the nascent industrial corridor planned for the wild and scenic river corridor through Idaho and through Missoula all the way to Alberta's tar sands country. The film will be aired as part of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival Dec 2, at 7 p.m., at the Wilma Theater in downtown Missoula. Read more:


Monday, November 29, 2010

End Of November Mega-Load Update

The latest news on the mega-load issue includes the ruling, by hearing officer Merlyn Clark, in favor of highway 12 residents, Candian Steel Workers Union upset about lost manufacturing jobs as well as the uncovering of a report backing the Kearl mega-loads that MDT denies is from their agency. Here are the links:

Ruling: ITD must hear from megaload opponents

MDT says 'ghost' report backing Kearl big rigs isn't from agency

Attorneys pour over state Department of Transportation big rig documents

Highway 12 megaloads: Union questions why oilfield modules were built in South Korea

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

News of Friday's Hearing and CBC Radio Program

Merlyn Clark, the hearing officer noted that the contested case before him was limited to the 4 ConocoPhillips' shipments and not the 207 Imperial Oil shipments or the "high and wide" corridor. This latter point was debated as the lawyers presented their arguments.

Clark said he would issue a "proposed" decision prior to Thanksgiving. That decision will serve, in effect, as a "recommendation." Then, there will likely be a response period prior to a final decision.

The CP coke drums will not leave the Port of Lewiston at least until that final decision is rendered.

For more information on the hearing that took place on Friday in Boise see New West’s article:

Attorneys square off in court over hauling massive refinery equipment from Lewiston to Billings by Steve Bunk, 11-19-10
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will be running a radio story on the U.S. 12 megaload issue by reporter Jennifer Keene this week. She came to Clearwater country about 3 weeks ago to interview, record and see for herself how the megaload issue fits into the larger oil sands issue. To listen, click here: http://www.cbc.ca/calgary/
The megaload story is part of a series on the oil sands, Wednesday – Friday

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where We Stand

As you read articles covering the megaload shipping proposal on Highway 12 and the comments following those articles it’s important to remember a few things:

1. At the heart of opposition to the megaloads are thousands of individual Idahoans and Montanans.

2. Opponents of the megaloads oppose over-legal loads that weigh over half-a-million pounds and block both lanes of U.S. Highway 12. But these same opponents support commercial truck traffic on the highway, and they support the jobs of commercial and logging truck drivers who live and work in north central Idaho.

3. The megaload transport projects will harm - not help Idaho's (& Montana's) economy.

Current Articles:

Big Rigs Wouldn't Bring Jobs, They Would Take Them Away (Missoulian) --
Recent guest columns in the Missoulian argue that new jobs and spending created by the Kearl Module Transportation project (aka "big rigs") will be the economic salvation of Montana. The official impact analysis as well as in-depth, independent economic analysis does not support these claims of job and spending gains from the project. Exaggerated promises of economic gains to justify truck shipments of massive oil equipment loads through Montana only divert attention away from the very real costs to the state, its taxpayers and the state's natural resources.
Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/article_48cb31e4-ec12-11df-9e67-001cc4c002e0.html

Proposed big rigs 9 feet longer than Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose (Missoulian)
We’ve read the dimensions of the very biggest rigs repeatedly: up to 227 feet long, 27 feet high and 29 feet wide, and seen the 300-ton weight as well. ... One day last week, the Missoulian searched the Internet to try to put into context the dimensions of the controversial big-rig shipments of oilfield and refinery equipment that want to roll through Idaho and Montana.
Read more ... http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_85930f04-efb2-11df-b38a-001cc4c002e0.html

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Help the Highway 12 Mega-Load Issue Reach the National TV Audience

A reader recently commented on the necessity of getting this story out to the wider National TV audience. If you’d like to recommend this story to your favorite news organization here are some links. Thanks!

ABC News
CBS – a menu lets you select 60 minutes, or CBS News, etc.
link for eye witness breaking news with the ability to upload pics
more general comment page
Fox News Contact Page
Democracy Now
Email Grit TV

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Idaho Supreme Court Decision

The Idaho Supreme Court issued its opinion on the ConocoPhillips - Idaho Transportation Dept. appeal of Judge John Bradbury's August district court decision.
In a 3-to-2 decision, the supreme court found that it -- and the district court -- did not have jurisdiction to revoke the CP permits that ITD had issued.

In rendering its opinion, the court did not address any of the key issues of the lawsuit regarding the CP permits -- such as the 10-minute-delay rule and the regulatory mandate that ITD first and foremost must consider public safety and convenience. So those issues remain open to review.

Here are links to some of the articles about the

Online at the New York Times: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/idaho-court-punts-on-oil-shipments/?pagemode=print







As you read these articles keep in mind:

- Never before have loads the gargantuan size as these traveled on U.S.12.
The oversize loads now traveling on the highway are single-lane loads
and much smaller in size and weight.

- Including Harvest Energy shipments, the tally so far of shipments the oil
companies hope to launch totals 274 in 2010-'11. By spring, there could
be dozens more knocking on ITD's door, or as the Port of Lewiston put
it "hundreds more."

- In the United States, 65% of new jobs are created by small businesses.
If the people of north central Idaho are to economically survive, the more
than 150 small businesses that comprise the area's single growing
industry - tourism, and that currently provide employment for almost 5000
people, must be protected. As we pull out of the recession, those small
businesses will be the source of most of the area's new jobs ... unless
they are destroyed by Big Oil's turning the scenic byway into an industrial
megaload truck route.