Mega-load Meets Protest in Montana, Exxon Sending Some Loads to Another Route


While the first of four ConocoPhillips mega-loads rolled across Idaho without interuption or protest, the giant shipment was the centerpiece of an opposition rally today on only its second day in Montana. Three groups, Join the No Shipments Network, All Against the Haul and the Northern Rockies Rising Tide, demonstrated in Lolo Hot Springs today. That's where the massive shipment will wait while a second mega-load makes its way along the same route on U.S. Highway 12 in North Central Idaho. No word yet on when the Idaho Transportation Department will grant a permit for the journey. Once a second mega-load makes its way to the Montana border, the two shipments will begin an estimated 21-day journey to Conoco's refinery in Billings, Mont.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil awaits its turn to move more than 200 loads up to the Kearl Oil Sands project in northern Alberta, Canada. Exxon hopes to send most of the shipments across U.S. 12 but has already begun sending smaller loads from the Port of Vancouver, Wash., up Interstate-5 and then over to Interstate-90 with hopes of rolling across Idaho's panhandle. But Exxon still hopes ITD will grant its request to ship the lion's share of the loads from the Port of Lewiston across U.S. 12.