Idaho issues oversized load permits, but stays shipments for now

Public input is required, but conditional permits are issued-

Note: the hearing will be on Friday, Nov. 19 in Boise. The hearing will be at ITD Headquarters in Boise, 3311 W. State Street. (208) 334-8000

Advocates for the West won a brief victory Friday on behalf of local residents of Highway 12. These temporarily block the first 4 shipments (which go to Billings not Canada). They are for ConocoPhillips. Later ExxonMobil seeks to move over 200 giant shipments over the highway, which parallels the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers, over Lolo Pass and through Montana to Alberta.

“Each of the Exxon loads would weigh 300 tons, stretch 227 feet long, reach 27 feet high and 29 feet in width – wide enough to take up both lanes of the highway. Trucks would move only at night and pull over in newly designed turnouts during the day.” Read more of this AP story by Todd Dvorak.

It has been discovered that oil companies plan to use scenic, narrow Highway 12 for at least a decade for hauling giant equipment, so this will be a continuing issue if big oil wins.



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  1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Does anyone know where in Boise this hearing will be held and the time?

  2. Save bears Avatar


    Just got off the phone with them, the hearings will be held at the ITD Headquarters in Boise, 3311 W. State Street. (208) 334-8000

    He was unable to tell me the time or the meeting room, he stated they had not set the time or the room yet, so you might have to call them to get that information.


    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Thank you, Save Bears! I just put your information up in the post

  3. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    Ralph— I was doing my regular search for news about this Hwy 12 megaload issue, and a new scenario jumped out that I had not heard about yet. A big oil company owned by the South Korean government’s national oil company KNOC, a subsidiary called Harvest Energy, has also applied for permits for 45-60 mega-loads of its own across the ” High and Wide” corridor route beginning next June. That brings the number of expected monster loads next year to somewhere north of 251. Harvest Energy bought out a smaller Alberta oil sand company with intent of developing it into an assured supply of petroleum for South Korea from a ” friendly” nation , Canada instead of buying energy products from China or the Mid-East.

    I think the regulators are way behind the curve. They seem to have punted the hot potato. ( Intentionally? ) It’s going to be hard to stop these things once the first truck rolls up the river. It looks more and more like it’s becoming a permanent transportation corridor. If nothing else, Canada is doing a huge business with Korea , using Idaho and Montana as enablers along the way.

    What infuriates me is I fail to see where there is any measureable economic benefit to Idaho and Montana by clearing these loads. There cannot be much money in doing roadside catering to truckers, after all. The only real economic gain to the states would be if homegrown products ( grain , coal, whole logs, whatever…) were somehow able to take advantage of this corridor as a means to reach ports on their way to overseas markets more cost effectively than by rail . But where exactly is that manifest ? Am I missing something ?

    1. Save bears Avatar


      The Missoulian printed a couple of stories about this new company a couple of weeks ago, there are many of us that have sent letters requesting information on this, I have not received any answers back as of yet, but I know there is a lot of us trying to get the lowdown on this new twist to the story. And your right, there is little economic benefit to either of the states involved in this.

    2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Cody Coyote,

      This is incredible. Now we know what it feels like to be a peasant in a backward country.

    3. JB Avatar

      “What infuriates me is I fail to see where there is any measureable economic benefit to Idaho and Montana by clearing these loads. There cannot be much money in doing roadside catering to truckers, after all… Am I missing something ?”

      Recall that corporations are now “people” insofar as the Supreme Court is concerned. One only need open an office in the US to make donations to political campaigns…


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