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How many “opposers”?

A question.

This comes out of news today that Conoco-Phillips, which has sought and gotten permits to run mega-sized trucks down the narrow and winding Highway 12 between Lewiston and Missoula, is appealing a decision by 2nd District Judge John Bradbury which blocks those trips, at least for now.

The appeal, of course, goes to the Idaho Supreme Court, for which Bradbury was earlier this year was a candidate, losing to one of the incumbents. That’s one interesting aspect of this; there seems to be some presumption that Bradbury may be overturned. We’ll see.

Our assumption has been that most people in the area have been opposed to the traffic of these massive trucks on a road that seems so unsuitable for them. (Travel via, say, Interstate 90 to the north might present some issues but on its face seem a lot more logical.) But is that so?

One commenter on the Lewiston Tribune story about this offered: “This is a waste of a lot of peoples time and efforts for such a small minority of opposers.” The formal (as if legal filing) number of “opposers” is of course small. But what’s the sense of how people overall in the area view this?

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  1. wdstillman wdstillman August 27, 2010

    I understood that the loads are too large to fit under interstate overpasses. They’re using this route because there aren’t any bridges over Highway 12 between Lewiston and Missoula.

  2. fortboise fortboise August 28, 2010

    Ah, overpasses! That explains a lot.

    In the good old days, one probably wouldn’t consider remote construction, certainly not overseas remote, because of the prohibitive shipping logistics. Remains to be seen whether it made sense here and now, all the same.

    As to my sense of the how people overall feel… no clue whatsoever, same as the commenter on the Trib site. (The difference between him–I’m guessing–and me is that I don’t see any point in imagining that “most people” agree with what my friends and I think.)

    If the most adamantly opposed can demonstrate illegality, or actionable risk, it doesn’t much matter whether we’re talking about a minority or a majority, does it? The Legislature can fix the legal problems if it wants to, but some palm greasing may be required, one way or another.

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