Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Articles & Food for Thought

From today's Lewiston Tribune...
Imperial Oil undecided about Highway 12 route; Recent court ruling in Montana allows shipments, by Elaine Williams
Imperial Oil appears to have no immediate plans to begin using U.S. Highway 12 for megaloads, in spite of recent court decision in Montana that opens the route for shortened shipments that could still take up two lanes of traffic.... Judge Ray Dayton of the District Court in Missoula County ruled the oil company can transport oversized loads from Lolo Pass at the Idaho border on two-lane highways, but only to Missoula, where they would take an interstate highway to Canada, said Dave Ohler, acting legal counsel for the Montana Department of Transportation....
Dayton's ...[ruling] allows use of U.S.12 and U.S.Highway 93 to Missoula since, unlike the Missoula to Canada section, no new turnouts would be needed for Imperial Oil to comply with Montana's rule that limits traffic delays to 10 minutes. Dayton retained the restriction on the part of the proposed two-lane highway route from Missoula to Canada pending another court proceeding scheduled for January, Ohler said....
Still, taking U.S.12 and U.S.93 might have advantages for Imperial Oil. It would allow the cargo bound for a processing plant at the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada to bypass Moscow. The extra-big hauls are routinely encountering protests in Moscow...
But Imperial Oil doesn't appear to be rushing to take advantage of Dayton's loosening of the original injunction. As of Wednesday, the transportation departments in Idaho and Montana hadn't received the paperwork they would require before Imperial Oil could be moving loads on U.S.12.
At the same time, the port of Lewiston hadn't been notified of any new arrivals belonging to Imperial Oil. ... Subscribers, read more.

We read the above article with some skepticism. The reporter's explanation of Dayton's ruling isn't precisely correct -- Dayton didn't rule that "the oil company can transport oversized loads...." As we understand it, Dayton ruled that MDT could consider 32-J permits for the reduced-size Imperial/Exxon loads. Also -- as we all have learned -- information coming from Imperial/Exxon spokespeople may not be true. So while the above article pulls out some details regarding the meaning of Dayton's ruling and indicates Imperial/Exxon isn't at the moment hot to hit the road using U.S.12, we are not drawing any firm conclusions.

Now, this food for thought
Corporations are not people: We hold these truths to be self-evident…by Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook | October 11, 2011, 2:11 pm

When is a Person not a Person?
Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PSR) recently answered this absurd question with the obvious and embarrassing answer: when it’s a corporation. According to PSR's statement, in case anyone is confused, a human being:
is a complex organism with capacities for joy and pain, reflection, and the compassionate appreciation of others. Mature persons are expected to display reasoned judgment, and are personally responsible for their own actions (our emphasis). Human beings live, breath, think, experience emotions, and internalize values such as empathy and caring for others. Like all sentient beings, they suffer, and die.
....Read more

Remember when getting a crane to retrieve a fallen megaload on U.S.12 would be quick & easy? Now we have...CONOCOPHILLIPS & THE "GIANT" CRANE...

Giant crane to install megaload coker drums at Billings refinery; by Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette
BILLINGS - This winter, the tallest thing on the Billings horizon won't be First Interstate Bank. It will be one of the world's largest cranes with a 500-foot boom swinging two large pieces of oil refinery equipment into place.
"It's a Mammoet PTC ringer crane, 1,600-metric-ton capacity," said Brady Hobza, project engineer ... the fourth largest crane in the world." It is a megacrane special ordered to install two, 350-ton coker drums that earlier this year eclipsed two-way traffic on Montana backroads...
... more than 100 semitrailers ... will haul [the crane's] pieces here in a couple months ... Read more

Moscow wants reimbursement for megaload policing costs posted by Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise @ the Spokesman-REview, from an Associated Press story, 10/11/11
Moscow (Idaho) officials want a company transporting oil equipment for ExxonMobil to pay $12,800 for police services... from July to September. The city plans to submit weekly reimbursement requests to Mammoet... Read more (On page, scroll down.)

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