National News

Dec 3, 2010 6:05 PM by Dennis Bragg (KPAX/KAJ Media Center)

More people join fight over Idaho megaloads

BOISE, ID- Twn more parties are joining the list of Idaho businesses and individuals who want to block ConocoPhillips from shipping large loads of mining equipment over Lolo Pass.

The company wants permission to ship the equipment from the Port of Lewiston across Highway 12 over Lolo Pass and on to Billings.

Earlier this week, Idaho's Transportation Secretary decided petitioners living along the highway have the write to challenge the permits for the shipments, setting the stage for a formal hearing in Boise this coming week.

Now, 10-additional parties have also intervened. They range from the operators of a bed and breakfast in Kooskia who worry how the loads will block traffic and impact their tourism business, to others who are worried about how the shipments could impact emergency medical access.

Meanwhile, Governor Brian Schweitzer had some pointed observations this week for people who are seeking to block the Billings-bound loads, and other shipments of oil mining equipment to Alberta. On the radio talk show "Voices of Montana", Schweitzer criticized people who "want jobs", but then say "no, we don't want those kinds of jobs." The governor said the state is already talking with two companies interested in building similar equipment modules in Great Falls and Billings. He says if the equipment can't be shipped across Montana highways it would be a "job killer."

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