Last month brought a flotilla of kayaks, a block party at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 5, and an activist's 63-hour stay on the Arctic Challenger, all in an effort to stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic this summer. This morning, the protests continued as a group of ShellNo protesters marched back to the nexus of highways servicing the port and attempted to block traffic for a couple of hours. They didn't end up blocking the first shift of workers at Terminal 5, but they plan on going back this afternoon.
This action is just one of several actions over the next few days that are being advertised on Facebook as "June Against Doom." Kayaktivists are also preparing for a "luminary" paddle tonight around the Polar Pioneer drilling rig in honor of World Environment Day.
The Port of Seattle, meanwhile, is appealing the City of Seattle's determination that keeping Arctic drilling equipment in Terminal 5 violates the port's land-use permit. (The first hearing in front of the Seattle Hearing Examiner is scheduled for July 23.) Today, the Port of Seattle also took a major step towards its alliance with the Port of Tacoma; both ports unanimously voted to send their joint plan to the Federal Maritime Commission, a move that has one top federal regulator saying "Great idea!" and some King County environmentalists wondering whether they'll have even less say in future port proceedings.
And in other bureaucratic news, it's still unclear how the state Department of Natural Resources is going to respond to Shell's insistence that the Polar Pioneer will stay at Terminal 5, legally, until the end of June. (Last month, the DNR warned Shell that blocking the public waterway next to Terminal 5 for long periods of time would violate the state constitution.) In its letter to DNR, Shell wrote that the Polar Pioneer—and possibly the Noble Discoverer—would likely come back to the terminal by late fall.
"We appreciate Shell’s timely response for information regarding their plans," Sandra Kaiser, DNR's director of communications wrote in an e-mail. "DNR is evaluating the information Shell has provided, while considering our obligations under the state constitution.”