SEATTLE — Shell’s huge oil drilling rig Polar Pioneer, moored off Port Angeles, is expected to be moved into the Port of Seattle Thursday, despite the fact the city says it doesn’t have the proper permits to dock.
“I think together we can fight this and stop this,” says Katrina Pestano of Shell No.
She and a group of “kayak-tivisits” are preparing to hit the water to protest the arrival of the Shell rig in Seattle.
“The ocean is our garden. That’s where we get our food,” says activist Carl Wassillie. “You wouldn’t want somebody messing with your garden, where you get your food, right?”
At Terminal 5, longshoremen are also getting ready. They are unloading the cargo and equipment the rig’s crew will need for the exploration of oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean later this summer.
“Everything that you see from the wire to squire boxes to pipe and all the wood, it will all be loaded to the Polar Pioneer,” says Erin Pierson of Foss Maritime.
But right now, the city says Foss does not have the right permits for that type of work. They’re prepared to fine the company and the Port of Seattle up to $500 a day if the rig is allowed to dock.
“Obtain the appropriate permit and there’s really no concern for the Department of Planning and Development,” says official Bryan Stevens.
The Port has asked Foss to delay its plans, while they appeal the city’s decision. But Foss says they can’t wait.
“We’ve contracted with our customer to provide marine services for their exploration fleet,” says Foss Maritime's Paul Queary. “They have a deadline when they need to be up north.”
He knows some people may be concerned about the negative environmental impacts of Shell’s operations in the Arctic. But he says the fleet’s effect on jobs here in the Puget Sound has been all positive.
“Four-hundred-17 people have gone to work as a result of this project so far, and that's more people than have been at any demonstration in opposition.”
Q13 FOX News asked Foss Maritime if they have any security concerns with the possibility of protesters. They say they have a plan in place at the port, and the U.S. Coast Guard will take care of any issues on the water.
You can follow the progress of the Polar Pioneer at WWW.MARINETRAFFIC.COM.