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Friday Quote: “This is not over by a long shot”

“Lights! Lights!”

The amber flashers of the first pilot truck in a convoy bearing a gigantic piece of processing gear destined for the oil sands of Alberta, Canada rounded a distant corner in the darkness at the edge of the Nez Perce Reservation. 

The cry went up just after midnight on Monday August 5, the beginning of a protest against mega-loads through Nez Perce territory along scenic Highway 12 in North Central Idaho. By Friday August 9, 30 tribal members and their leaders had been arrested. 

Protesters Can’t Stop H12 Megaload

Nez Perce tribal police arrested and cited 19 people for disorderly conduct in connection with the protest of an oil refinery equipment shipment traveling via megaload truck through tribal lands. The truck resumed its journey along U.S. Highway 12 around 2:30 this morning after members of the Nez Perce Reservation and other activists attempted to halt its progress. Helen Yost, a spokeswoman of environmentalist group Wild Idaho Rising Tide that joined tribal members in their protest of the shipment, monitored activity on social media and through media reports. She also spoke with several protesters at the scene as they returned to their homes around 4 a.m. About three-quarters of the assembled protesters were tribal members, Yost said.  (Steve Hanks' Lewiston Tribune photo: Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee members (from right) Dan Kane, Albert Barros, Brooklyn Baptiste, Silas Whitman and Leotis McCormack take turns speaking at a protest of megaloads Monday night at the Clearwater River Casino)


Megaload Snaps H12 Power Lines

Imperial Oil's test module snakes its way out of North Lewiston along U.S. Highway 12, in Lewiston. The module, which is 250 feet long, 30 feet tall, 24 feet wide and weighs almost 500,000 pounds, will be the first of many the oil company hopes will travel the route on its way to the Kearl Oil Sands project in Alberta, Canada. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

Things did not go smoothly overnight in the first leg of an ExxonMobil mega-load test shipment. The rig struck trees, knocking one 20-foot-long branch to the highway. Then it hit a guy wire near milepost 47, slicing the high-voltage power line, closing the highway for about an hour and knocking out power to hundreds of residents along U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho. The Idaho Transportation Department ordered Mammoet, Exxon's transport company, to investigate the incident before resuming the trip/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Billings Greets 1st Megaload

Donuts and coffee greet ConocoPhillips employees, public officials and members of Big Sky Economic Development as they gather to welcome the refinery's new coke drums to town today in Billings, Mont. Crews from Emmert International spent more than two months transporting the first two loads from a port in Lewiston, Idaho. The 300-ton loads contain coker drums to be installed at the ConocoPhillips refinery in Billings. Video here. (AP Photo/The Billings Gazette, Larry Mayer)

Question: Which doughnut concoction is most appropriate for greeting arrival of a megaload from the Port of Lewiston many weeks later?

Megaload Scrapes Rock, Causes Delay

Parked between the Clearwater River and U.S. Highway 12 at Kooskia, Idaho, the first megaload of a ConocoPhillips half-drum awaits its third leg of its journey across Idaho to a refinery at Billings, Mont. Snowfall expected at higher elevations ahead has stopped the long caravan of vehicles. The Associated Press reports that the megaload scraped on rocks along the route and caused a 59-minute delay. The Idaho Transportation Department is demanding that the company submit a new plan before allowing a second megaload to leave from the Port of Lewiston. Story here. (AP Photo/Lewiston Tribune, Steve Hanks)

Question: Anyone out there ready to say: I told you so?

ITD Didn’t Seek Megaload Comment

ITD public involvement coordinator Adam Rush, under questioning from attorney Natalie Havlina, confirmed that ITD received a petition over the summer opposing the megaloads with signatures from about 3,000 people, opposing the granting of permits to ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips or any other corporation “to transport massively oversized road-obstructing industrial equipment on U.S. Highway 12.” Asked if he’d solicited public comments about the megaloads proposals, Rush said, “Comments weren’t officially solicited. We received many from folks and responded to them”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.