State records show that Idaho’s top three elected officials signed off in June 2009 on a plan to have ExxonMobil pay state patrol officers to accompany oversize truckloads of oil refinery equipment as they traveled scenic U.S. Highway 12 in North Idaho. That was a year before three public meetings were held in north-central Idaho about the controversial project, which has drawn hundreds of objections and is currently the topic of a lawsuit pending at the Idaho Supreme Court.
In a memo dated June 1, 2009, Idaho State Police Director Col. Jerry Russell asked the state Board of Examiners to approve the overtime plan for officers. “Exxon Oil Co. is starting a new refinery in Canada,” the memo stated. “The refinery parts are being barged into Lewiston starting in 2010 and will be trucked up U.S. 12 and eventually into Canada with over 150 loads of a special semi-truck/trailer combination that is 150 feet long and 24 feet wide.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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