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Shell Arctic oil drilling vessel. (Image courtesy Vice News via Twitter)

Foss CEO: Shell fleet will arrive despite port’s new stance

Port of Seattle commisioners asked that Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling rigs postpone their arrival at Seattle’s waterfront while the port appeals a city ruling that a new permit is needed.

But the chief executive of the company slated to work on the vessels here said the company expects to move ahead with the planned arrival of the oil rig Polar Pioneer on Thursday.

“We are going to proceed. We think the appeal process is going to take a very significant period of time,” said Foss Maritime CEO Paul Stevens. “These rigs and our operation will be in and out of here before there is any conclusion on the appeal process.”

The Port of Seattle commission voted Tuesday to appeal the city’s interpretation that the port needs a new permit to host Shell’s fleet.

Meanwhile, in light of the city’s interpretation that hosting the vessels is not consistent with the current land use permits at Terminal 5, the commissioners also aked Foss to inform Shell that use of the terminal should be delayed pending further legal review.

The vote came after three hours of public comment from 74 speakers with different stakes in the decision. Speakers included environmentalists and members of the community worried about the risks drilling for oil pose to the environment and carbon emissions, people who flew down from Alaska who wanted to explain the importance of drilling to the state, and members of Seattle’s maritime community.

The port has until May 21 to submit its appeal of the city ruling.

In related news, Arctic drilling protesters set up at Shell Seattle facility.

This article was written by Coral Garnick from Seattle Times and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.