UPDATE: Shell drill rig Polar Pioneer arrives in West Seattle

(Added: Photo by Admiral 935, looking north on California SW as PP passed)
1:29 PM: We’re launching as-it-happens coverage now that the Polar Pioneer is close to Seattle – destination: West Seattle’s Terminal 5 – and media as well as spectators are getting in place. We’re starting at Seacrest, where TV crews are converging, as well as some drilling opponents who say they plan to “unwelcome” PP; they’ve put up red “warning” flags on the pier and some kayakers are in the water.

Also spotted: City Councilmember Mike O’Brien:

Meantime, after slowing to a near-stop for a while across the Sound from Shoreline, Polar Pioneer and its accompanying vessels are on the move again. Updates to come.

1:39 PM: Texter says it’s in view in the distance from Alki Point. We’re setting up near Anchor/Luna Park to see it when it rounds the bend. Photos? editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

1:47 PM: Visible now coming up to West Point. (Added)

(Photo by Gary Jones, taken from Alki Point as Polar Pioneer passed West Point)

Kayakers are off Duwamish Head. As mentioned in our earlier coverage when it left Port Angeles around 1:30 am, the rig has four Foss vessels with it – Andrew Foss, Garth Foss, Lindsey Foss, and Pacific Star – and, since then, has added three Coast Guard vessels.

2 PM: A police boat has taken up position near the navigation marker off Duwamish Head. The kayakers are still floating just offshore. (added) The police boat came over for a closer look at them:

2:25 PM: It’s in Elliott Bay now, traveling at 7 knots, 13 hours after leaving Port Angeles. Meantime, that’s NOT a TV helicopter circling over us on the Duwamish Head shore, that’s Guardian One.

3:01 PM: We’ve been on Twitter (and live on Periscope) for the past half-hour as the Polar Pioneer passed Duwamish Head. Lots of spectators.

Helicopters overhead, kayakers, Coast Guard, other vessels on the water.

3:16 PM: Co-publisher Patrick Sand has headed east/southeast to Don Armeni, where a protest sign is about to be hoisted or floated. He sent this photo:

(added) Here’s what it looked like – yes, it was tethered:

(added) Chief Seattle’s great-great-grand niece, Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, watched with her daughter from Jack Block Park. Thanks to Ann Anderson for this photo:

Ann also shared this one, in which you can see a tribal canoe out with the group on the water:

Speaking of sending photos, thanks to everyone who’s done that – just starting to check them. Polar Pioneer remains stopped in the bay.

3:44 PM: It’s on the move again, heading south, toward the port. We’ll see if it goes all the way to T-5, where, as we reported yesterday, the city says it would be in violation of the Port’s permit and could be cited.

4:36 PM: Kevin‘s tweeted photo shows the Polar Pioneer as it rounded the bend and headed into the mouth of the Duwamish River, where it’s arrived at T-5:

We’re back at HQ right now getting ready for some evening coverage (unrelated) and will be adding more photos.

(Thanks to Scott for this view from Riverside, looking toward the “low bridge”)
5:08 PM: For some, seeing it might be their first word about all this – we were reminded of that by a phone call. Same way that the shutdown of T-5 last summer surprised some who didn’t make the connection until they saw the vast, empty stretch. But no, it’s NOT here to drill in local waters. It’s scheduled to stay here for a matter of weeks before leaving for the offshore Arctic drilling for which Shell recently won a key federal approval. But first – opponents are continuing with their plans for a “festival of resistance” this Thursday through Saturday. We talked today with Seattle Police to ask about their plans; they acknowledged a briefing this morning but said that on the water it’s Coast Guard jurisdiction, on port land it’s Port Police jurisdiction – they’re just standing by to see if anything happens outside those two areas. We are awaiting the port’s answer to our questions about whether they are planning any different access policies at Jack Block, for example. Meantime – it’s been three months since the Port’s CEO announced the signing of the lease with Foss, which said it in turn had a deal to bring the Shell vessels here.

ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: David Hutchinson photographed the Polar Pioneer, docked, with the latest “kayaktivist training” class, which had headed out from Seacrest earlier in the evening.

That was billed as the last training class before Saturday’s long-scheduled on-the-water protest. More on that later today.

87 Replies to "UPDATE: Shell drill rig Polar Pioneer arrives in West Seattle"

  • drillbabydrill May 14, 2015 (2:09 pm)

    EXCITING! The anticipation is building!

  • JanS May 14, 2015 (2:18 pm)

    Thanks for this coverage, TR.Seems like they’re a tad early. I wonder if they did that for a reason…

  • JayD May 14, 2015 (2:33 pm)

    TR: If the coverage gets a bit too intense come hang on the patio of Marination. The vibe’s a bit more jovial over here. First round on me :)

    • WSB May 14, 2015 (3:10 pm)

      Sorry for the gap, decided to go live via Periscope (Twitter streaming application from the phone) for a while, done now, and it’s moved on. We shot with a “real” camera and will add those images when back at HQ, but I’ll be adding some from Twitter for starters. Fair amount of spectators showed up. But they always do. Before moving from San Diego in 1991, we were among hundreds lining the shore as the Exxon Valdez was towed in for repairs. And of course more recently here, we’ve had sights such as the Constellation’s last tow (which also involved Foss). Whatever your feeling about this vessel and what the federal government has told Shell it can do, it’s something to see. USCG helicopter circling overhead, pretty low, right now …

  • SGG May 14, 2015 (2:42 pm)

    Their plan is to make it to Marination in time for Happy Hour. The Arctic is a long way from good Hawaiian fare.

  • onion May 14, 2015 (2:44 pm)

    I hope the protesters use a lot of common sense and that no one gets hurt. And I wonder if some of them already have made plans to spend the night in jail?

  • keepin it clean- our waters May 14, 2015 (2:51 pm)

    Don’t we have a ban on these types of vessels in Puget Sound? (since former Gov Dixie Lee Ray adopted and approved years ago…)

    So many types of water life are dependent on us to get/keep waterways safe, what’s up with this?

  • Roger May 14, 2015 (2:55 pm)

    GIVE ‘EM S-HELL!!!

  • dsa May 14, 2015 (3:00 pm)

    Keep it coming Tracy, your coverage is fantastic.

  • Donna Riddick May 14, 2015 (3:02 pm)

    I’ve got some pretty good photos of the progress through Elliott Bay. I tried to post them to West Seattle Blog for your approval but must be having a techno-duh moment. They are posted on my page if you would like to use them. ddr

  • Donna Riddick May 14, 2015 (3:04 pm)

    What I’d like to see is this rig going through the locks.

  • dsa May 14, 2015 (3:20 pm)

    Was there a link or something for twitter and periscope? Disappointed I missed it.

    • WSB May 14, 2015 (3:26 pm)

      We’re always on Twitter at http://twitter.com/westseattleblog … and when something’s happening, whether it’s a community council meeting or something like this, we usually tweet here and there. Our forthcoming overhaul is expected to have a twitter module in the sidebar (the one we had in this creaky old design broke and can’t be fixed) so that it can also be glimpsed while you’re on the website…

  • Christine May 14, 2015 (3:26 pm)

    I need to join the protests. Should have planned ahead. Where can I come and help?

  • ChefJoe May 14, 2015 (3:26 pm)

    Don’t get too close kayakers, especially greenpeace.


    The injunction also expands terms Gleason established in a temporary restraining order issued April 11 against Greenpeace USA. That temporary order set up 1,000-meter buffer zones around Shell’s two drill rigs and the Blue Marlin, the ship transporting the Polar Pioneer. The new injunction establishes buffer zones ranging from 100 meters to 1,500 meters for all of Shell’s Chukchi fleet.

  • Drea May 14, 2015 (3:34 pm)

    Does anyone know why it has stopped moving?

  • ChefJoe May 14, 2015 (3:53 pm)

    Oh no, they’re filling even more balloons to float off with our world’s increasingly scarce helium supply.

    WSB, you were looking for the “safety zone” and here’s the ruling that expanded it to the full fleet.
    The Coast Guard’s zone is something else.

  • diverlaura May 14, 2015 (3:56 pm)

    Dear protesters, please make sure those huge balloons don’t end up in any waterway or landfill. Biodegradable protest material only?

    • WSB May 14, 2015 (4:05 pm)

      Laura – Patrick says they had the balloons on a tether for retrieval. One tether snapped but they still had a line on it. We have had to go back to HQ for a while, though, so don’t have the final disposition confirmed.

  • JAT May 14, 2015 (4:05 pm)

    I hope the oil industry uses a lot of common sense and no one gets hurt. Oh except everybody’s great-grandchildren, but who cares about them?

  • sam-c May 14, 2015 (4:16 pm)

    I scrolled down here to say what diverlaura already said. It’s good to hear they have tethers; hopefully don’t break. thanks to a free coloring book about orcas we got somewhere one time, my little son would be out there protesting those balloons if he knew about it!

  • charla mustard-foote May 14, 2015 (4:16 pm)

    Christine, Three day festival begins Saturday through Monday. For more info, http://www.shellnoflotilla.org has the info. Jack Block Park is the local staging fpr land activities.

  • Lucy May 14, 2015 (4:27 pm)

    Welcome Shell! You have supporters too!!

  • West Seattle Hipster May 14, 2015 (4:27 pm)

    Great coverage of a pretty cool event.

  • TreeHugger666 May 14, 2015 (4:38 pm)

    Helicopters have been hovering over my house for an hour. Call FAA to file a complaint 425-227-2813. Office is closed now. Can also file a complaint online. And ensure to tweet the stations to move their helicopters. Environmentalists getting what they want by having these birds burning fuel all day watching their efforts.

  • dsa May 14, 2015 (4:39 pm)

    Channel 2 has coverage, sort of, but they also show pictures of the destination in the Arctic. And guess what? There already is an oil rig off shore up there. I don’t know about the picture, they will be showing all day, take a look.

  • Born on Alki 59 May 14, 2015 (4:39 pm)

    Enough with the helicopters please. So much for a quiet afternoon.

  • Uhh What? May 14, 2015 (4:40 pm)

    Shouldn’t the protesters be rallying against the law that allows the rig to drill in the Arctic instead of protesting the device? The platform is just doing what the law allows it to do, being mad at it doesn’t do anything but waste time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Maybe I’m missing the point, but after reading the agenda of the protesters, I find this to be an exercise in futility, all show but no substance.
    Those of you in the know, enlighten me to why protesting this rig makes sense.
    (Not sarcasm, I truly want to know.)

  • Chris May 14, 2015 (4:44 pm)

    Time for the helicopter to leave. I called KOMO, the person on the other end said it was theirs. It’s time for it to move on this isn’t new anymore – it’s been over the Admiral area for about 45 minutes…. who do we complain to for that? (Mayor’s office closes at 4 – must be nice – and Dow’s office didn’t even go to voicemail.)

  • Umm Yeah May 14, 2015 (4:48 pm)

    Most kayaks are made out of polyethylene. Polyethylene is made from petroleum. Why are they protesting from kayaks?

  • N.A. Neighbor May 14, 2015 (4:55 pm)

    Ya think those news crews have the story already? Could they maybe go away now? The noise is driving me crazy!

  • Neighbor May 14, 2015 (4:56 pm)


    Foss and Shell are both responsible for the unbelievable hardship future generations will have to survive.

    Shame on them
    Shame on the port.
    Shame on Seattle.

    The future will look back upon this with utter disbelief.

  • cjboffoli May 14, 2015 (5:02 pm)

    The sooner we curtail the overuse of private vehicles (especially gas guzzling SUVs and trucks) and our consumer ecosystems of over-packaged, plastic disposable products, the sooner companies like Shell will stop going to pristine habitats in search of oil. Blaming them for slaking our ravenous thirst for oil ignores how complicit we all are in the current system. But I suppose that attacking faceless corporations is easier than enduring the discomforts of forgoing convenience.

  • Diane May 14, 2015 (5:03 pm)

    after hearing helicopters over me for an hour, was able to watch it arrive, from my apt desk window
    got some really clear photos; now, from my vantage in Belvidere, it’s parked right between the stadiums
    looks very similar in size/shape as the one that was here couple years ago with the giant ball, and parked in same area; wasn’t that also related to oil? why was no one upset about the other one?

    • WSB May 14, 2015 (5:20 pm)

      No, I’ve mentioned that a couple times. That was the Sea-Based X-Band Radar. Military. Nothing to do with oil. Also, it was here for work at Vigor, not docked at T-5, though it’s right across the mouth of the Duwamish River. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea-based_X-band_Radar (and if you search our archives for SBX …) It was quite the curiosity too BUT its original arrival was at night, long after the TV helicopters go in for the night.

  • jetcitydude May 14, 2015 (5:19 pm)

    Why is it here again?

    • WSB May 14, 2015 (5:22 pm)

      JCD, if you mean “remind me why it’s here” – it’s here to be readied for Arctic drilling this summer, and will be towed from here to the Arctic Ocean unless something scraps Shell’s plan (which won a key federal approval recently).
      If you mean “why is it AGAIN here” – this one hasn’t been here before. The Noble Discoverer, Shell’s other drill rig (actually a drill ship), was here in 2012 before Shell’s ill-fated attempt at drilling. It’s in Everett and supposed to come down here for more preps pre-Alaska.

  • Bradley May 14, 2015 (5:23 pm)

    Welcome, Shell! Thank you for choosing Seattle and thank you for the jobs.

  • AmandaKH May 14, 2015 (5:28 pm)

    Now that it is here, let’s not let it leave.

  • aa May 14, 2015 (5:28 pm)

    Lets all take care driving west on the bridge, everyone is slowing down to look and it could get messy.

  • West Seattle Hipster May 14, 2015 (5:29 pm)

    Perhaps some of those protesting this event should do some research on petroleum consumption in India and China. That is where the catastrophic damage will come from.


    Our future generations can thank them as well.

  • sam-c May 14, 2015 (5:41 pm)

    It doesn’t look that big when you see it up against the cranes (from the south)

    • WSB May 14, 2015 (5:54 pm)

      Sam, I’m adding a photo from that angle, shot from Riverside, looking across the low bridge.

  • Lucy May 14, 2015 (5:52 pm)

    Wow! Can’t believe all the protesters from Alaska walked here or rhode bikes! Wouldn’t want to take a gas guzzling plane!! At least you’re taking time off of killing wales to “so call” save the environment THEY swim in!!

  • LucyM May 14, 2015 (5:59 pm)

    Did all the protesters from Alaska walk or ride bikes here? Glad they took the time off from killing whales to protect the environment they swim in!

  • ChefJoe May 14, 2015 (6:03 pm)

    the SBX-1 radar thing with the ball was a recycled oil drilling rig made into that prototype sea-based x-band radar thing. The Polar Pioneer is a 4th generation rig, based on my cyber-sleuthing.

    “SBX-1 is based on the modified fifth-generation semi-submersible platform of Moss Maritime.”

  • Paul Hage May 14, 2015 (6:03 pm)

    Why did SPD kick people out of Don Armeni at 3:45 PM while many were enjoying the spectacle? SPD said it is the late-night troublemakers they wish to remove, but the signs allow police-state discretion. Anyone can see that casual use of the park when the lot is empty is not causing strict enforcement. So, what was the reason today?

  • wb May 14, 2015 (6:07 pm)

    Perhaps some of those who are jazzed at the arrival of this hideous equipment should do some research on how devasting the exxon valdez and the gulf spillage were to the communities and the wildlife affected. Then read about the financial costs that are endured long after the tragic event.

  • Smitty May 14, 2015 (6:38 pm)

    I thought it would be bigger.

    (that’s what she said)

  • smokeycretin9 May 14, 2015 (6:51 pm)

    Yes @ West Seattle Hipster, its true. Countries like India, China and Korea have gotten a little taste of Western culture and they are buying cars and SUVs at an alarming rate.

    It would take a miracle to put THAT genie back in the bottle now.

  • JayDee May 14, 2015 (6:53 pm)

    @Paul Hage

    Did you have your boat trailer attached to your car? See this WSB story:


    So maybe it isn’t just “police state” oppression. There are plenty of other spots on the street.

  • Ray May 14, 2015 (7:31 pm)

    The police were clearing out all of the people that were ILLEGALLY parked in the boat-ramp parking. Everyone that parked legally was allowed to remain where they parked.

  • Mike May 14, 2015 (7:42 pm)

    Paul H. I was wondering why they where not ticketing the vehicles until about 4pm. The signs are clear, yet the police where turning a blind eye to it for hours……. If your going to threaten to enforce the law and then let some get away with it, when there are officers present and then start ticketing at some arbitrary time what message is being sent?

  • Fergie May 14, 2015 (8:01 pm)

    Not much can change this, and it is unfortunate. We live in a country with ‘democracy’ but unless we change how politicians are allowed to accept money from corporations… This is going to happen until every drop of oil is pumped out of the earth. It is unjust, the people are not heard, and it is breeding hopelessness.

  • Paul Hage May 14, 2015 (8:21 pm)

    Today I visited Don Armeni to see the Polar Pioneer at a time there were few trailers – as did many others. It was said at the SWD meeting that the emphasis is on troublemakers. OK with me – but today seemed to be arbitrary enforcement. My question is – for what reason? What was the “trouble”? The park space is too valuable be left unusable during non-boating periods, and no, there is not much parking left by commuters. Use of this public park can accommodate many public needs while respecting primary use for trailer parking.

  • Dzag May 14, 2015 (8:21 pm)

    This whole debate is ridiculous and people are driving in their gasoline powered cars to protest this in the wrong way. While I think the North Pole is important stopping them with kayaks isn’t going to work. Starting a regional/national campaign to stop buying Shell gas would be a much more effective way to stop artic drilling.

  • BeachBoy May 14, 2015 (8:24 pm)

    I am curious about the ‘buffer zone’ discussed that would be around this vessel. Does that mean boats at the Jim Clark, Harbor Island, and marinas further up the Duwamish won’t be able to go to and from Elliot Bay?

  • DPM May 14, 2015 (8:48 pm)

    Since Shell is here, maybe they can do some drilling for the failed tunnel project..lol
    On a serious note, are they giving tours one of these?

  • Dale May 14, 2015 (8:55 pm)

    Its here. Doesnt mean it should be. Those that argue shouldnt cant disprove. Its CIVIL disobedience. Do you disapprove even cuz you dont agree on content? Let them make a point. Is that too scary?

  • ketchup May 14, 2015 (9:08 pm)

    Mike O’Brien is a hunk.

  • ChefJoe May 14, 2015 (9:19 pm)

    Treehugger, according to the court order for safety zones, starting June 25th helicopters will be excluded above the drill rigs and other helicopter pad vessels to 3,000 ft up (over half a mile up) and 0.5 mile radius (pg 18). In just over one month the courts will help keep the helicopters away.


  • Dale May 14, 2015 (9:20 pm)

    Im not asking you to understand. Just know the some of the reasons I think this way. #1) Shell, paid billions to drill in a location which is 1000 miles from the nearest port. Does this matter? Lets think about it. No weird politics…science only. Can we do this? Probably not. I will tell you things like if there is an oil spill (70%) chance per studies you will reply with a PERSONAL attack. Thats what happens. Cant understand or doesnt make sense so U must be the problem. #2) Shell is no friend of the Earth. I will admit. Thats a big statement. Sure, they plead guilty for their actions 2 years ago. 8Felonies. Guilty. Why? A oil water bilge cleaner is a common on board equipment. When u wont spend $100kto replace it spells trouble. Instead, your personnel try to hide the fact it doent work. U pay 12.2million later. Is this a company we want drilling in the most remote area of the world? One that cant abide to existing MARITIME LAWS! This was not a mistake. It was an effort to hide, lie, steal. Its Deflagate Gate on an Environmental level.

  • bluhorizon May 14, 2015 (9:26 pm)

    The HELICOPTER that was super loud /annoying for WS residents, (and was circling the entire time) belonged to the COAST GUARD. If you want to file a complaint about today, here is their phone #
    (206) 217-6990
    1519 Alaskan Way S, Seattle, WA 98134

    You should also contact The PORT OF SEATTLE, who requested it.
    (206) 787-3000​

    Keep these handy for Saturday – CG will likely be up there circling again for a good long time -along with TV copters and other law enforcement.

  • SeaDude May 14, 2015 (10:17 pm)

    For those Seattlites who’ve been here forever, the real issue is that this is the Emerald City, modern EcoTopia, supposedly one of the “greenest cities” in the U.S.. We don’t want our port used to aid and abet the environmental damage that this drilling expedition is likely to cause.
    People are attracted to our city because of its politics and its reputation.
    Legal pot, gay marriage, good beer, great coffee, wonderful outdoors, and other attractants have brought a new influx of people. Become a true Seattlite and come out this weekend to show your support for protecting the Arctic from this hazardous occupation and for finding a better way forward.

  • Sarah May 14, 2015 (10:19 pm)

    So many reasons why the Shell drilling is a bad idea. Here is a link to a good article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/13/arctic-drilling-for-extreme-oil-is-risky-and-letting-shell-do-the-work-is-reckless Also, if there was a more environmentally positive way for Alaskans to get to Puget Sound, they would! But guess what? Using carbon-based fuel is the only option, now. Ironic right? Hmmm, who’s to blame on that? Hopefully, because we can imagine and develop new fuel sources that are good for the planet, people will be ale to travel long distances without damaging our planet. If I were a Shell shareholder, I’d be very concerned about this ill-advised venture. It’s lose-lose.

  • Mike May 14, 2015 (11:05 pm)

    Irony, people in vessels made of petroleum protesting a rig designed to extract raw material that is used to produce petroleum….and doing it at a Superfund site, but not making any notice that they’re actually protesting a floating Shell rig over the top of a Superfund site so toxic you can’t safely eat the shellfish there.
    I think exerting energy into changing laws would be a better move, but that’s not what the protesters want, they want attention, not change.

  • Ian May 14, 2015 (11:21 pm)

    Does anyone know if any of the ships will be plugged into shore power while docked?
    If they are plugged in they would at least be using renewable energy while in port instead of using diesel generators on board.

  • cryan May 14, 2015 (11:58 pm)

    like what seadude said “We don’t want our port used to aid and abet the environmental damage that this drilling expedition is likely to cause” yet the protesters were in petroleum made kayaks hmmmm kinda hypocritical. Don’t get this protest over a parking spot.

  • Pearl Blue May 15, 2015 (12:09 am)

    I noticed the Zodiac the “protesters” launched today was registered in California.. It was pulled to the boat ramp by a U-Haul V 8 powered truck. I wonder why the earth-conscious protesters pulled a gas powered Zodiac from California in a gas guzzling vehicle for a protest that is targeting an oil company… They then ran the Zodiac around the sound at full throttle for several hours. (pictures on local news) Kinda lost me on this one. Hypocrisy negates any actual call for climate/environment saving action… Sorry Greenpeace and all of the plastic kayak paddling hippies, your message is too clouded to make any sense..

  • Knarf May 15, 2015 (5:06 am)

    Who will be doing the work affiliated with these vessels? Loading and unloading etc…..

  • w.s. maverick May 15, 2015 (5:53 am)

    seattle welcomes you

  • m May 15, 2015 (6:15 am)

    The only protest that works and matters is for one to take personal ownership of the problem and do what one can to reduce his or her own use of fossil fuels. All of this dog and pony does nothing to affect real change.

  • artsea May 15, 2015 (7:41 am)

    I sadly suspect we are once again going to see that when we stand up to the huge multinational corporations, especially the oil giants, we will always lose. We can hope not, but……

  • Dusky May 15, 2015 (8:15 am)


    Lot’s of local companies including the one I work for, based in West Seattle, is already earning extra income with Shell coming to town. We’ve been working up in Port Angeles and Everett for the last month and will continue work at T5 till they leave town. I can attest that this is a benefit to the local economy. I don’t agree with the politics of this and I definitely don’t agree with drilling in a pristine arctic but our federal govt approved the leases and Shell would have found somewhere to spend their money if it wasn’t Seattle.

    I’ve lived and worked in Seattle for 16 years and I can’t say I’ve ever heard it described as an Ecotopia…

  • 33Pete May 15, 2015 (9:08 am)

    “Become a true Seattlite and come out this weekend to show your support for protecting the Arctic from this hazardous occupation and for finding a better way forward.”

    How very un-Seattle of you SeaDude. See, some of us here believe in free thinking and a right to our own opinion, coupled with a healthy respect for the views of others. The group-think mentality that permeates BOTH sides of politics and many protests is what’s wrong with Seattle.

    Almost every issue has two sides, and usually both sides have valid points. When people believe their view is the ONLY view, and that they are entitled to force their view on others, we all end up losing.

    Here, I understand the protestors’ views in not wanting the rig to be serviced here, and absolutely respect them.

    I also understand the view of those who favor (or at least don’t take issue with) the rig being serviced here.

    I personally side with the latter, as I feel the protest is misguided, in that it appears the protestors’ efforts would be better spent pushing for laws that better regulate drilling activity, rather than a symbolic act of attempting to turn away the rig (which, if successful, will just cause the rig to be serviced elsewhere, and does nothing to change the larger issue; indeed, if anything the rig will have to use more fuel to travel farther for service).

  • Mr. B May 15, 2015 (9:38 am)

    Pinnacle of hypocrisy: Anti-Shell protesters on Elliott Bay in a zodiac powered by a gasoline engine. Reminds me of the May Day Anarchist vandalizing the Nike Town shop… wearing Nike shoes.

    Do they realize how foolish they look? No wonder nobody takes them seriously. These clowns do a disservice to the very serious issues we face today.

  • G May 15, 2015 (9:45 am)

    First, can we dispense with the nonsense that this is the David versus Goliath battle, people against corporations? The environmental movement is well-funded with billions flowing from wealthy individuals and organizations into it’s coffers and exerting powerful influence over U.S. policy. Debate has been stifled and if you don’t believe that an environmental apocalypse is coming, you are shunned, or excommunicated by the climate change fundamentalists. A legitimate hypothesis, greenhouse warming, has been sensationalized and exploited by those who claim to be “scientists.” Me? I refuse to be herded into an ideological pen; I’ll think for myself.

  • captain Dave May 15, 2015 (10:34 am)

    Companies like Shell are (thankfully) active in recycling the earths carbon. Without carbon in the environment, this planet will eventually become a barren dust ball like Mars. The vast majority of life on earth is carbon-based. In the grand scheme of things, it can be alternatively argued that nature needed to create humans for the sole purpose of extracting locked carbon from the earth in order to perpetuate life. Are we so arrogant to think that we are controlling nature? Welcome to Seattle employees of Shell! Keep up the good work so that our descendants can have a few billion more years on this planet!

  • Felix May 15, 2015 (11:20 am)

    Once Again…for the umpteenth time..No hypocrisy …..this us Not a protest against Oil/Fossil Fuel…it is a Protest against Royal Dutch Shell specificly, and Arctic Drilling in General…..Shell has a terrible environmental track record.

  • G May 15, 2015 (12:15 pm)

    The placards and slogans are ostensibly directed at Shell, but the real target is you and me. We are the interlopers and without us the earth would operate in some happy, harmonious balance. This is a Western world fantasy and absolutely false, and deadly as well. When the UN applied to pressure on Africa to discontinue use of DDT, an effect and cheap bug killer, how many thousands of Africans died of malaria? There was no real phase-out with no real alternatives, only an ultimatum. Unfortunately, though MOST Americans are reasonable, balancing valid environmental concerns with a modern society, the environmental mov’t elite has taken a radical turn into a disturbing and wacky mix of anti-science and anti-humanistic philosophy.

  • Kevin May 15, 2015 (12:23 pm)

    @Felix- do you even know what the protest is about? The shellno website is very clear about protesting fossil fuels.

  • captain Dave May 15, 2015 (12:29 pm)

    Felix: Is there any oil company who’s actions are applauded by environmentalists? For that matter, is there any use of raw materials from nature that is not condoned by environmentalists? My niece just learned the other day from her leftist educators that humans are parasites on earth. This notion is just wrong in so many ways. I am a conservationist. I don’t believe in unnecessary waste or pollution, but I don’t buy into the idea that everything humans touch defies nature. Our corrupt leaders are engineering material scarcity into society to strip wealth and freedom from everyone but the elite. Anti-carbon protesters are brainwashed into thinking they are doing something good for people when they are actually helping to launch society back into the misery of the dark ages.

  • Eric May 15, 2015 (1:14 pm)

    Please stop using balloons to make your point. They will eventually fall back into the very world you are trying to protect. I have seen balloons in fish, on mountaintops, 3 feet in the ground…please come up with another method to make your very strong point that I totally agree with. Thank you!

  • patricia davis May 15, 2015 (4:07 pm)

    THINK about the long range impact of this ‘toe in the door’ How it impacts West Seattle (as well as a larger arena) Did you know that numerous small business have asked for permit to put in restaurants and water/environmentally friendly shorelines uses ? Only to have a ‘no’ a the Port of Seattle pushes back. They have plans for our shoreline – hello? THINK about the diesel and air pollution of these activities? Do you realize that the height of this rig is literally the same as West Seattle (305′ for west seattle) Why are there cranes operating on it today? Also I was told by a port employee that this is just a toe hold for oil TANKERS coming in here. Also with regard to Foss: ever pay attention to the massive diesel smoke they put out (into our breathing air and drifting in the water) If we don’t protect and take care of our planet’s air, water and environment – who does? You can be certain this is a stealth effort by the Port for much bigger pollution going on right under and in our air. THINK about it. Another thing: why don’t they most their operations to the east (which is now simply truck parking near E. Marginal Way) Why such giant operations right next to residential neighborhoods/children/school ? We should be protecting our shoreline, and our air. THINK about it. I applaud the people who are resisting this bullying by the Port. No permit? hey, do it anyway. And a fine of $50/day….yeah, that really motivates million/billion dollar efforts. This is big money that will sell our air and water out. Pay attention.

  • some dude May 15, 2015 (5:58 pm)

    “Now that it is here, let’s not let it leave.” Good one! That thing is a giant finger to environmentalists everywhere. Sell out our future for a few temp jobs, yea? Shell no.

  • Michelle May 15, 2015 (7:32 pm)

    Welcome Shell

  • smokeycretin9 May 16, 2015 (9:12 am)

    I’ll let you in a little secret. I am a machinist. I work in Georgetown. I work for a company that manufacturers and rebuilds oil refinery equipment. I work on stuff for local refineries every day. I get a paycheck from said company. I spend my money at local West Seattle businesses first. Some of these businesses are: Beer Junction, The Sneakery, West 5, Alki Bike and Board, West Seattle Cyclery, and even Mountain to Sound Outfitters.

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