Idaho Supreme Court makes ruling on Highway 12 tar sands shipments
Yesterday, the Idaho Supreme court ruled that the lower court did not have the ability to revoke the shipping permits for ConocoPhilips. The ruling, a 3-2 decision, held that even though the court did not have the right to withhold the permits that “it is entirely possible that Respondents have real grievances with ITD’s decision in this case,” and that the court is “sympathetic.”
So what does this mean for the folks in Idaho and the fight to halt the shipments? They think it’s a great step forward. The court did not touch on any of the regulatory matters to which the original lawsuit pertained. This means that that the court has opened the doors to other forms of regulatory appeal, including a direct appeal to the Idaho Department of Transportation through a contested case hearing. The interest here is that this type of hearing opens the door to much more extensive public involvement, something that hasn’t been part of the decision making process for the shipments in Idaho.
With this decision the hope that the shipments will be further stalled in Idaho is strong, giving us more time to build public pressure here on the Montana side. So, come to a meeting, get involved in the way that you see fit. We at NRRT cooking up some exciting projects for the near future so stay tuned or come to a meeting.
(note that our meeting times have changed, which will be reflected in the local paper soon.)