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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Attack of the Oil Company Mega-Loads? Big Shipments Scare NW Watchdogs

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010   

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Washington is closely watching a battle in the Idaho Supreme Court over whether to allow massive oil exploration equipment to be trucked across scenic roadways of Northern Idaho and Montana to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. Some of the Korean-made equipment has already arrived at the Port of Vancouver, and is set to go by barge on the Columbia River to Lewiston.

Environmental and sportsman's groups say the mega-loads will end up costing Northwest taxpayers, by damaging roads and bridges and setting back salmon restoration efforts. Pat Ford, who heads the group Save Our Wild Salmon, says they wish agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers shared their concerns.

"I think their position is that these shipments are just normal, everyday commerce and, as such, do not require any special permits that would lead them to delay the shipments. We don't think that is the right position, but I think that's the Army Corps' position."

Proponents say the shipments provide badly-needed business for the ports. But conservation groups are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to assess their environmental impact on the Northwest.

The groups also say the shipments run counter to the Northwest's push for cleaner energy. K.C. Golden, executive director of Climate Solutions, says oil from tar sands is dirtier and harder to extract than other types of fossil fuels. And in this case, it's located in Canada's pristine boreal forests.

"What we're talking about is ripping up one of the Earth's most important and largest carbon sinks to extract oil from tar sands, which produces about twice as much climate pollution as conventional oil."

Ford notes a longer-term concern is whether the Northwest will allow oil companies to dictate the uses of its rivers and roads because of their economic clout.

"They won't be a pro-salmon force, they'll be an anti-salmon force. And we just think that's bad for the Northwest, to have companies who don't care about this region, throwing their weight around – and it's considerable weight – on management of these rivers."

Only one oil company's shipments have been delayed in the Idaho Supreme Court case, which involves the road portion of the trip. But two other oil companies also have dozens of giant rigs bound for Canada.



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