August 17 - According to reports in the US media, local residents opposed to giant truck shipments of oil equipment through Idaho's scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon have filed a lawsuit to block the shipments, just a day before Idaho planned to issue

Yesterday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter said he will require an oil company to put up a USD10 million bond before he allows them to ship over-sized modules of refinery equipment along Highway 12 through the scenicLochsa River canyon. 

HLPFI understands that Otter already has secured the agreement of Conoco to the bond for four shipments on the narrow highway to a refinery in Billings. Otter has worked on adding the bond since more than 200 people showed up for "Capital for a Day" in Pierce Aug 4. Many people raised fears about safety and the shipments' effects on tourism. 

In addition to ConocoPhillipsImperial Oil, a subsidiary to Exxon Mobil wants to haul equipment from thePort of Lewiston on U.S. 12 in Idaho, then into Montana and on to Alberta, Canada, for the Kearl oil sands project in northeastern Alberta, 325 miles north of Edmonton. 

Otter's announcement comes as residents and businesses along the river filed a lawsuit to stop the shipments.Kooskia residents Linwood Laughy and Borg Hendrickson, and Peter Grubb, co-owner of the River Dance Lodge in Syringa, and ROW Adventures filed the lawsuit. 

Many Idaho residents are worried the oil giant's plan to ship 200 of the Korean-built modules 24 feet wide, 30 feet tall and 162 feet long will hurt tourism and increase the risk of a major foul-up in the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River canyon east of Kooskia. The shipments exceed the legal capacity of U.S. 12, which snakes up the Clearwater River past Orofino, into Montana.