Sunday, May 17, 2015

Shell Oil Rig Arrives in Seattle Waters amid Protests, Permit Controversy

Members of the Duwamish Tribe protest against the Shell Oil Company's drilling rig Polar Pioneer as it arrives in Seattle, Washington, May 14, 2015. (Credit: Reuters/Matt Mills McKnight) Click to Enlarge.
The first of two Royal Dutch Shell drilling rigs slated for Arctic oil exploration arrived in Seattle on Thursday as environmental activists geared up for days of protests over plans to store the equipment at the city's port.

Shell is planning to use Seattle as a base to store and maintain the rigs and other equipment as it resumes exploration and drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, where it has not drilled since a mishap-filled 2012 season.

The decision to resume drilling, and the port's decision to allow Shell to lease space in Seattle, has been met with anger by some city leaders and environmental activists who say drilling in the delicate Arctic ecosystem could lead to an ecological disaster.

Environmental groups also contend that weather conditions make it impossible to safely drill in the remote Arctic, a region that helps regulate the global climate because of its vast layers of sea ice.

Over coming days and weeks, protesters are planning dozens of demonstrations, including in boats and kayaks, to try to prevent the rigs from leaving again.  At least one city councilman, Mike O'Brien, said he planned to participate.

Read more at Shell Oil Rig Arrives in Seattle Waters amid Protests, Permit Controversy

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