[Vision2020] Oil Lawyers Cite Historic Trading Trek

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Sep 11 11:42:21 PDT 2010

Courtesy of today's (September 11, 2010) Spokesman-Review.




Oil lawyers cite historic trading trek

Todd Dvorak

Associated Press  


BOISE - A big oil company is invoking the spirit of famed explorers Lewis
and Clark to help make its case before the Idaho Supreme Court to ship four
oversize loads of refinery equipment along an Idaho highway.


Lawyers for ConocoPhillips cite the Corps of Discovery and its mission of
finding a northwest passage in their legal fight to overturn a state judge's
ruling blocking the shipments from Lewiston to its refinery in Billings.


Last month, 2nd District Judge John Bradbury revoked travel permits issued
by the Idaho Department of Transportation after finding the agency failed to
adequately consider the impact the shipments would have on public safety and


The company wants to haul the massive equipment along U.S. Highway 12, a
curvy, two-lane roadway that passes through a protected river corridor and
covers some of the same ground trekked more than 200 years ago by Meriwether
Lewis, William Clark and crew.

ConocoPhillips attorneys said one goal of the expedition was to find a water
passage across the Northern Rockies to aid American commerce. Using the
roadway to assist modern-day commerce is consistent with those historic
principles, they said.


The Lewis and Clark reference is a tiny piece of the argument the company is
making to the Idaho Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled
for Oct. 1.


Laird Lucas, the attorney for opponents of the shipments, said it's absurd
to link modern-day shipping to the historic, commercial intentions of the
Lewis and Clark expedition.


"This claim underscores that Big Oil will take any step it can to suppress
the individuals and business owners who are concerned about what is
happening to their local communities," Lucas said.


ConocoPhillips' loads would consume both lanes of the highway. Trucks would
run between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. and pull over at 78 turnouts along the
route to let traffic pass.


ConocoPhillips is asking the court to overturn the lower court and allow the
state to issue travel permits.




Seeya round town, Moscow. 


Tom Hansen

Moscow, Idaho


"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward."


- The Queen in "Alice in Wonderland"


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