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High court overturns Judge Bradbury, OKs four mega-loads on Highway 12

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled in favor of allowing four mega-loads of oil refinery equipment to travel scenic U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho, overturning a lower-court judge who revoked the permits for the four giant truckloads. The court, in a 21-page ruling, found that it didn’t have jurisdiction to revoke the permits for the loads, and neither did the district court.

“It is entirely possible that Respondents have real grievances with ITD’s decision in this case,” the court held. “Even so, the Constitution and the Legislature have limited the Court’s power to act here. … The Court’s only choice is to remand with instructions to dismiss without prejudice.”
Justice Warren Jones wrote the 3-2 decision; Justice Jim Jones wrote a dissent, in which Justice Roger Burdick concurred; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com and read the opinion here.

ConocoPhillips Corp. wants to send the loads, which are so wide they’ll take up both lanes of the two-lane road, across the route immediately to get the equipment to its refinery in Billings, Mont., though it still must receive permits from the state of Montana. They’re just the first mega-loads proposed for the route, however; Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil has a proposal in the works for 207 giant loads to start traveling this month and continue for a year, to run from the Port of Lewiston through Montana and up to its Alberta oil sands project in Canada.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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