Posts tagged: Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon
An Idaho judge has revoked special permits issued by the state to
allow ConocoPhillips to ship four oversized loads of oil refinery
equipment along a highway that follows a winding, federally protected
river corridor in northern Idaho. Second District Judge John
Bradbury ordered the Idaho Transportation Department to study the permit
request again and take action to ensure the safety and convenience of
the public. Last week, Bradbury put a temporary halt to the oil
company’s plans to ship the massive coke drums along the 175-mile
stretch of U.S. Highway 12. He issued his opinion today, after hearing
testimony on the case on Monday/Betsy Russell, SR. (Courtesy photo from Judge John Bradbury’s Supreme Court run)
Question: Did Judge John Bradbury make the right call?
The shipments controversy exposes some of Otter’s potential weaknesses. An uninspiring record on environmental issues. A cozy relationship with business, such as the trucking industry. It also plays into one of Democratic challenger Keith Allred’s recurring themes — the suggestion that Otter makes snap decisions without vetting things out. Allred didn’t take a position for or against the shipments at a recent town hall meeting in Boise, but has criticized Otter for consulting only with shipping supporters/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much concern do you think Gov. Butch Otter has for the environment?
From Otter’s description of the project, however, you wouldn’t know what happens once the equipment is shipped to Lewiston. You wouldn’t know that ConocoPhillips plans to move four massive truckloads up U.S. Highway 12, a project now on hold as a judge reviews a lawsuit blocking it. You wouldn’t know Imperial Oil plans to run more than 200 trucks, each as long as 210 feet, as wide as 24 feet, as tall as 30 feet and as heavy as 290 tons along the two-lane highway toward Missoula. But those shipments are at the heart of the controversy. Residents and business owners on the scenic highway say it undermines their personal safety, economy and the environment. Otter’s letter doesn’t mention the shipments - nor, of course, his own plan to impose a $10 million bond on both ConocoPhillips and Imperial Oil/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Did Butch Otter ignore the transportation impact of the economic project he enthusiastic supported for the Port of Lewiston?
The Idaho Transportation Department, through spokesman Jeff Stratten, issued the following statement today in response to 2nd District Judge John Bradbury issuing a temporary restraining order against four oversize truck shipments on U.S. Highway 12 proposed by ConocoPhillips: “The transportation department will fully comply with Idaho law in reviewing over-legal permit requests on any state highway. No permits have been issued to ConocoPhillips to haul over legal loads on U.S. 12. The transportation department is continuing its analysis of the ConocoPhillips request. The hearing on Friday is part of that process.” The judge set a hearing for this Friday morning in Grangeville on a request for an injunction against the shipments/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.
Question: On Facebook, Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press states that this issue could blow up into a significant political problem for Gov. Butch Otter, adding: “Deserves to be — it’s about where priorities are.” Do you agree that the oversize shipments could hurt Otter?
2nd District Judge John Bradbury has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Idaho Transportation Department from issuing permits to ConocoPhillips to haul four giant loads of oil refinery equipment over U.S. Highway 12 through the Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon. The judge set a hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction for this Friday at 9 a.m. in Grangeville. He found that the plaintiffs showed prima facie evidence “that they may suffer great damange that would not be recoverable from ConocoPhillips if the transportation of the equipment is permitted by the Department, and that by issuing permits for the transportation of the equipment the Department may be violating its own regulations”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Should ConocoPhillips be allowed to haul four giant loads of refinery equipment over U.S. Highway 12 through the Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon?
Item: Wide, wide loads opposed: Huge oil equipment to move along scenic Idaho highway/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review
More Info: A scenic Idaho river canyon dotted with campgrounds, hiking trails and historic sites could become the thoroughfare for hundreds of mammoth truck shipments of Korean-built equipment for the Alberta oil sands project in Canada – a prospect that’s raising an outcry from residents, recreationists and tourist businesses along the route. But the project’s biggest booster is Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who welcomed it long before locals heard about it. Otter says it’ll be done right, but critics aren’t convinced and are concerned about Otter’s handling of the issue.
Question: Is Butch Otter compromising the important tourist industry in the Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon by allowing this huge shipments on Highway 12?