Seattle's Mayor Ed Murray has demanded that the Port of Seattle get a new permit to base Shell Oil's drilling for oil offshore in the Arctic Ocean, a development environmentalists have condemned as very risky in an area that is very a sensitive marine ecosystem. It seems that the lease the Port of Seattle is operating under specified it only be used for "cargo operations" and drilling in the Arctic can't be considered a cargo operation.
Mayor: Port needs new permit to host Shell oil-drilling fleetThing have already gone very badly for Shell's Arctic venture in 2012 when the huge 400 foot long Polar Pioneer oil platform broke loose from tugs towing it and drifted out of control until it ran aground along the coast of an Alaskan island.
By Daniel Beekman
The Port of Seattle must apply for a new land-use permit in order to have its Terminal 5 serve as a hub for Shell’s offshore Arctic oil-drilling fleet, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said Monday.
“After talking to the Port about its plans at Terminal 5 and after reviewing the 20-year-old permit for the operation of the cargo terminal, (Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development) has found, and I concur, that the long-term moorage and maintenance of Arctic drilling equipment falls outside the current permit,” Murray said, drawing applause at a downtown Seattle fundraising breakfast for Climate Solutions, a “clean-energy economy” nonprofit.
“(The department) has determined that the Port’s proposed use is not a cargo terminal and therefore the Port must apply for a new permit,” the mayor added. “I expect the Port to obtain all required city permits before any moorage or work begins at Terminal 5 on Shell’s oil-drilling equipment.”
Seattle Says 'No' To Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet, For NowThen on its way south to Seattle some courageous Greenpeace activists boarded the Polar Pioneer platform in the mid-Pacific.
By MARCIE SILLMAN & KATE O'CONNELL
At the end of 2012, one of its drill rigs ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska while being towed to Seattle. The rig was sent to Singapore for repairs, and the company lost out on the 2013 drilling season.
That incident came less than four months after an accident in Anacortes, Wash., kept Shell from drilling for Arctic oil in 2012. In an underwater test off Samish Island, the company's oil-spill containment system was "crushed like a beer can," in the words of a federal inspector who witnessed the test.
Greenpeace Activists Have Barnacled Themselves to the Polar Pioneer, a Shell Oil Drilling Rig Bound for Seattle
by Sydney Brownstone
Greenpeace reports that this morning, six activists from the Esperanza—the Greenpeace vessel tracking a Shell oil drilling platform called the Polar Pioneer as it travels across the Pacific Ocean—managed to scale the rig and affix themselves to the underside of the main deck.
The six are now tweeting from the rig, located 750 miles northwest of Hawaii.
In 2012, Shell won an injunction that kept Greenpeace activists away from its rigs. This drilling season, Seattle-based activists are also planning to greet the rigs with a flotilla of kayaks in Elliott Bay.