Residents Endangered by Megaloads

Bill Beck, Pullman

Moscow-Pullman Daily News 10/5/11

The megaloads keep rolling through Moscow. The Idaho Transportation Department, with the support of the Moscow City Council, is allowing our roads to be used as a supply route for the biggest industrial polluter in North America, ExxonMobil’s Alberta Tar Sands development. This industrial nightmare is a major contributor to climate change, it is polluting our planet, poisoning the people of Alberta and contributing to the creation of disasters that will kill untold numbers of people around the world. While the Moscow City Council debates how to mitigate the expense of protecting the ExxonMobil shipments from the justified rage of protesters, citizens on our highways are endangered.

On September 22, I got stuck in the middle of the megaload convoy. Just north of Moscow, I watched an unsuspecting driver turn south onto U.S. Highway 95 from Mix Road and immediately be confronted by the 24-foot-wide megaload. A serious head-on collision was narrowly averted. If this vehicle had been only a few seconds later, it would have collided with this megaload. ExxonMobil is not adequately warning vehicles entering Highway 95 south from the numerous county roads intersecting the highway. Our city, state and county officials should be aware of this danger posed by these shipments.

I guess ExxonMobil and their contractor Mammoet, with the support of state and local officials, don’t have enough money to ensure the safety of our local residents. It is just a matter of time before an innocent person is injured or killed by the shortsighted greed of these selfish and reckless corporations. The government officials who support this use of our roads are failing to adequately protect the people they are empowered to serve.

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