Labor groups representing port workers noted that Foss Maritime is employing more than 400 people already to service the Shell fleet. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, for his part, is strongly against hosting Shell’s fleet, warning that the port could face daily fines because it lacks the proper permit. Those fines would amount to no more than $500 a day for the port — a tiny drop in a very large barrel if Shell, one of the world’s largest companies, manages to recover billions of gallons of oil from the Arctic Ocean. Seattle’s environmentalists, however, have a sense that their time is now.
Wind serves to raise costs, complicate scheduling, destabilize markets, and adversely impact reliability all in a hopeless effort to receive “free” energy that is actually quite costly. It has been hoped that subsidies would make wind self-sustaining in short order, but wind appears no closer to economic viability today than years ago.
The Polar Pioneer oil rig expected to arrive in Seattle on Thursday afternoon is the biggest piece of a muscular fleet Shell Oil has mustered in the Pacific Northwest to resume its controversial high-stakes oil-exploration effort in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s North Slope. The company will have 25 vessels in and out of the Pacific Northwest in preparation for the season.
A state mostly run by liberal Democrats for years continues to dodge the tough work required for the economy to grow greener. For going on 40 years, Arctic crude has literally fueled the prosperous growth in this region. It’s easy to kayak around to symbolically protest an evil corporation. It’s easy to use the permitting process in a political manner, as Seattle Mayor Ed Murray just did. But it won’t do anything substantive about climate change.