Getting back on topic, I am going to speculate on some of the ways this Mega-Haul issue is going to play out.
Let us suppose that Idaho withdraws its approval for the haul. Since they had previously issued the permit, which is a form of contract, the state will be in breach of contract. It is probable that the state will be sued for the costs incurred as a result of the breach. Who pays? Idaho taxpayers.
And what about the loads? From where they are stored now, in Lewiston, the nearest alternative route would be back to Pasco, up US-395 to Ritzville, onto I-90, through Spokane and Coeur d Alene and over Lookout Pass to Missoula. From there, it is the same as the original route. But the haul through Eastern Washington is going to involve a lot of overpasses that might not be high enough for the mega-loads. Whatever is done to deal with that, it is more cost. Who pays? We do, because it will increase the price of the product that we all use.
Or maybe it will not be economically feasible to do anything with the loads that are in Lewiston other than cut them up for scrap. That's good, because that way nobody has to deal with the mega-hauls. But it comes at a price. Someone has already paid for that stuff, and the price will be passed on to consumers, whether the items are put to use or cut up for scrap. Once again, we pay--and get nothong for it.
In fact, we'll pay twice, because the oil company is certainly going to have new ones built to replace these, and the replacements will cost a lot more than the originals. Or, if replacement is cost-prohibitive, then the whole oil-sand project will have to be abandoned, and we'll just keep paying more to middle-eastern oil shieks.
What I'm saying is that there will be a cost to this, no matter what the outcome of this current debate; and we need to take that cost into consideration before we commit to any course of action.
An engineer once told me, "Life is full of trade-offs." Ain't that the truth.