Exxon Solves Their Megaload Problem - By Cutting the Trees to Shreds

Be wary when Exxon claims they are going to “investigate” a problem…treetrim1.jpeg

Over the weekend, Exxon literally took an axe to the trees lining the US Highway-12 Wild and Scenic River corridor in order to facilitate their “megaload” plan. This latest outrage by Exxon is a drastic step to ensure that the currently suspended megaload test shipment – the same shipment which ran into a tree and later cut a power pole causing a blackout – can resume its course through the Lolo Pass corridor of Idaho and Montana onwards to the tar sands operations in Alberta, Canada. In cutting off the limbs of trees that line the highway – many of which are over two centuries old and bore witness to the Lewis & Clark Expedition who made their way through the exact same corridor in 1805 – Exxon, along with the state and federal authorities who are turning a blind eye, are permanently disfiguring one of the more iconic and scenic regions in the country. 

As can be seen in the accompanying images that were captured by Idaho residents associated with Fighting Goliath.org, work crews spent the Easter weekend trimming branches along the highway to create a virtual tunnel over 30 feet high, while also eliminating any growth that came within 3 feet of the fog line. 

What is ironic, if that is the right choice of words, is that Exxon had been preparing for this test shipment for over three years. In their preparations, Exxon’s crews already had trimmed over 500 trees along the designated Wild and Scenic River corridor. But despite Exxon’s assurances that they thought of everything, Exxon still managed to bungle the operation with their first test shipment. After the test shipment was suspended, Exxon and the State of Idaho made assurances that they would conduct a thorough safety review and investigation of the problems associated with the first test. Looks like all of that thinking resulted in a decision to take chainsaws to the offending trees instead. And because of it, the trees, the scenery, and the naturalness associated with the Clearwater region are paying the price for Exxon’s incompetence.

LochsaCut3.jpgtreetrim3.JPGImage credits: Fighting Goliath - see http://sayingnotogoliath.blogspot.com/

About the Authors

Bobby McEnaney

Senior Deputy Director, Western Renewable Energy Project

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