Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stop the giant trucks


A major environmental and economic issue has arisen in north Idaho and unfortunately is flying under the public radar. Exxon Mobil/Imperial Oil wants to truck 1,000 giant earth drills weighing 350,000 pounds each up narrow state Highway 12 winding alongside the Middle Fork of the Clearwater and Lochsa Wild and Scenic rivers. These behemoths go from the port of Lewiston to the destructive tar sands project in Alberta.

The issues are:

· Safety and stoppage of traffic. The fragile highways and small bridges simply cannot accommodate these mammoth loads. What if one of these monsters tumbled into the river?

· Disastrous impacts on the quiet rural lifestyle and economies of north-central Idahoans.

· Major visual damage to the intrinsic values of the wild rivers and disruption of rafting, camping and fishing.

The Clearwater and Lochsa river corridors would simply be industrialized. It would have a deleterious effect on the $3.4 billion Idaho tourism industry, most particularly on the tourism-based livelihoods of rural Highway 12 communities.

Why should north Idaho taxpayers have their scenic river highway corridors trashed for Big Oil? Exxon Mobil would make billions on the backs of Idaho and Montana taxpayers. It's obscene. Look at the Gulf catastrophe that BP and Department of Interior malfeasance has wrought. Please e-mail the Idaho Transportation Department and Gov. Butch Otter to tell them absolutely not to allow the necessary oversize load permits for this outrageous proposal.

This would be ruinous for the environment and tourism economy of north Idaho. It is yet again Big Black Oil vs. little people. Please stress to IDT that public hearings be held and a full EIS prepared per the law.

This monster truck issue is of monumental importance. Your voice is urgently needed to stop this travesty.

Scott Phillips

Hailey




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