Coast Guard seeks fines against anti-drilling protesters
SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has initiated penalties against four anti-drilling protesters, including a woman who chained herself to a support ship for Royal Dutch Shell’s exploratory oil drilling plans.
Petty Officer 1st Class George Degener says Cody Erdman, Chiara D’Angelo, Paul Adler and Matthew Fuller on Friday were mailed penalty notices for violating the 100-yard safety zone when the Arctic Challenger was anchored in Bellingham Bay over the Memorial Day Weekend.
The maximum fine is $40,000 for each violation, but a hearing officer in Virginia will determined the penalty. Activists will have a chance to present their case.
The Coast Guard says it supports the public’s right to assemble and protest. But it says prolonged violations of its safety zone strain agency resources and hinder the agency’s ability to respond to other calls.