New York Times: Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight Over a Road (Highway 12)

National newspaper notices importance of the struggle of Idaho and Montana citizens against international oil-

Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight Over a Road. By Tom Zelller. New York Times.

I wish the NYT had also exposed the sellout to the oil companies by the states’ politicians.



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  1. Nancy Avatar

    +Supporters of the shipments say they would inject millions of dollars into struggling rural economies along the route. “This wouldn’t be just an economic benefit for Lewiston,” said David Doeringsfeld, manager of the Port of Lewiston, “but for all of north-central Idaho.”+

    Interesting they don’t go into much detail about that statement. Or, will the economic benefit amount to lining the pockets of the politicians who have “no problem” signing on to this?

    Where are they gonna park the equivalent of 4 football fields during the day light hours? What if say truck number one or two, has mechanical problems and is no where near a turnout? Montana seems to be pretty quiet about the whole thing.

    1. Save bears Avatar

      Montana has taken public comments on this issue and seem to now be waiting until the Supreme court case in Idaho is finished, they have not issued any permits and Jim Lynch is being pretty closed mouthed about this one. If he thinks he might be the subject of wrong doing, he always stays in the back ground! Worst DOT director we have ever had in Montana in my opinion!

      In my personal opinion, Montana knew about it and figured they would approve it with no problem, until the public found out about it, so now Montana is trying to play the “Cover My Ass” game.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      And how is this benefit going to help all north central Idaho? This is a land of deep canyons, and if one major highway is blocked, you have to go a long way to get around it.

      All of this equipment will help the Port of Lewiston, which has struggling to be economically viable since the beginning, but how much employment can unloading and storing equipment create? There will be employment guiding the modules upriver along the 2-lane highway and redirecting/halting regular traffic. Did I forget some jobs other than some use of cafes on the way?

  2. Nancy Avatar

    You are probably correct SB. I just hope the decision isn’t based on the fact that “they” are already here.

    A friend in Florida sent me the NYT article a couple of days ago and her comment was:

    The oil companies want to RUN/RUIN everything….they actually had the GALL to ship the first bunch of things up the Columbia River…..for additional pressure. The equipment sounds ruinous to roads…..and certainly to the peace and comfort of the people.

    1. Save bears Avatar

      Far as I am concerned, I hope the damn things sit at the port and ROT! The Bullshit way they have done this is nothing but contemptuous…they were hoping they could bulldog this through and nobody would find out!

      1. Salle Avatar

        Amen SB!

        I think the above comment about economic benefits is correct, I can’t see how any of that will trickle down beyond the pockets of politicians… And as Ralph suggested, there aren’t many income opportunities that could arise from this fiasco. It will surely cost everyone more than can be calculated either economically or value-based.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan