This week the Independent takes an in-depth look at the heavy haul proposed by big oil corporations Imperial Oil and ConocoPhillips, a pair of transportation projects that could well put Idaho and Montana on the map as a permanent industrial corridor for oversized loads. The Idaho Transportation Department approved the permits for ConocoPhillips this Tuesday, and opposition groups including Missoula's All Against the Haul are now planning nonviolent, family friendly demonstrations for when the loads roll through Lolo and Missoula. We'll have more details on that later, but for now here's a list of links pertinent to the current feature.
Fighting Goliath: The group of rural Highway 12 residents in Idaho who launched a lengthy and expensive legal battle against ITD's initial approval of the ConocoPhillips permits last year. They're keeping tabs on all things heavy haul via their blog, as well.
Montana Department of Transportation: Specifically, take a look at the webcams stationed on Lolo Pass and Roger's Pass to get a sense of the heavy haul route. They also have the full environmental assessment for the Kearl Module Transportation Project here.
Drive Our Economy: A "task force of community, union, business, and agricultural leaders" based in Montana and Idaho who work to "promote economic strategies that benefit" both states. They've voiced strong support for the heavy haul, and their membership includes the Montana Chamber of Commerce, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, the Montana Coal Council, the Idaho and Montana mining associations and the Port of Lewiston.
University of Montana's Climate Action Now: A key founder of opposition to both the heavy haul and the Alberta tar sands here in Missoula.
All Against the Haul: A Missoula-based coalition of scores of individuals and organizations all opposed to the heavy haul. They regularly update their blog with the latest, have a running list of key documents relating to the big rigs and are behind the publishing of the activist book The Heart of the Monster.
Northern Rockies Rising Tide: A blog from Missoula's direct action group including news on the big rigs and the Alberta tar sands.
Friends of Two Rivers: The Bonner-Milltown community group who hosted last week's informational meeting on the heavy haul.
The Indigenous Environmental Network: A coalition of U.S. tribes and Canadian First Nations dedicated to environmental justice and cultural preservation.
ExxonMobil: The parent company of Imperial Oil, which intends to ship 207 oversized modules through Idaho and Montana. Take a look at their corporate blog post regarding the Kearl Module Transportation Project.
ConocoPhillips: The oil corporation shipping four oversized loads to its refinery in Billings starting early next month.
Mammoet: The Dutch shipping company responsible for transporting the Imperial Oil loads. (Their name means "mammoth").
Emmert International: The shipping company operating for ConocoPhillips.
Also keep a lookout for stories from regional daily and weekly news outlets regarding the heavy haul. And stay tuned to the Indy for more in-depth coverage.