Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A big oil company has hired one of Idaho's best-known lobbyists as it tries to convince the state to allow four massive loads of refinery equipment along U.S. Highway 12. Skip Smyser registered as a lobbyist for ConocoPhillips on Monday with Idaho's secretary of state. The Houston-based oil giant is preparing for a hearing Friday, where it will defend its plans to ship coke drums between the port of Lewiston and Billings, Mont., along the winding riverside highway through mountainous north-central Idaho. Environmentalists, residents and some business owners along the U.S. 12 corridor are fighting those shipments — and more than 200 additional proposed oversized loads planned by Exxon Mobil Corp. The Idaho Transportation Department issued permits last Wednesday for ConocoPhillips' loads, but they can't move until shipment foes get a hearing.