Thursday, November 18, 2010

Conoco "Holds Idaho Harmless" in Mega-Loads Case

Posted By on Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 10:49 AM

ConocoPhillips is shoring up its defense in anticipation of Friday's hearing regarding the fate of four giant coke drums, sitting at the Port of Lewiston. Conoco has been waiting since spring to ship the mega-loads across Idaho's U.S. Highway 12 to its facility in Billings, Mont. Opponents have stalled the shipments thus far with a series of legal hurdles, first in an Idaho District courtroom and then at Idaho's Supreme Court.


The Idaho Transportation Dept. has twice issued permits but three central Idahoans have filed litigation each time.

This week, Conoco hired high-profile Idaho lobbyist, Skip Smyser. Smyser will help the oil giant through the formal and informal maneuvers with the ITD.

Late Wednesday, Conoco unveiled a hold-harmless document, indemnifying Idaho from any loss pertaining to the shipments.

But in a bit of a jaw-dropper, Conoco has asked the three opponents to post a $2 million bond if ITD doesn't promptly lift stay on the permits.

"The delay ... has thus far resulted in at least $2.5 million in hard costs to ConocoPhillips," according to Conoco documents. "Any further proceedings would be improper and would do violence to the requirement of speedy and economical determination of all issues."

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