Great work here. I called Ecology’s spills program last week asking if they have conducted oil spill drills with Shell to assure they are prepared to respond to any unanticipated events. The program officer told me they are covered by the spill response contractor, National Response Corporations (NRC) who is a state approved contractor so there was no need to conduct a drill. No mention made of their spill record or any indication that "Shell was on their radar.” This attitude is remarkable given the Coast Guard in Hawaii had just busted Shell for illegally modifying their oil/water separator to address a leak on board. This from a company who can afford to spend $47 billion to acquire a LNG company. Such slipshod operators have no right to conduct business anywhere in the Sound. But why is the State's Ecology Program complicit in this snow job? Talk about the tail wagging the dog…..

I wonder if a semi-submersible oil drilling rig or associated boat has more hydraulic systems and oil-based pumps than your average boat ? It seems like that would be relevant to the comparison and if they're operating responsibly (maybe they have 10x as many hydraulic systems and only 1.5x as many incidents as the average vessel).
@2 That's a good point. The Arctic Challenger's equipment is likely far more complex than the winches and cranes on fishing and cargo ships. But the DOE still flagged the number of spills as a concern.
Then for the future of Washington State and this planet, we have got to get that monstrous, toxin-spewing eyesore, and the corrupt fuckwads (i.e.: Senators Doug Free Lunch Ericksen, R-Ferndale-who never-can-be-reached-for-comment, and his pal, Grinnin' Freeloader Baumgerter, R-Spokane as well as the grossly overpaid Seattle Port Commissioners) who green-lighted this insanity behind closed doors-- OUT OF HERE, PRONTO!
These are not effective leaders, policy makers and legislators with our best interests in mind, and should be renounced (very much like Troy Kelley).
Washington State is in serious need of a major cleanup in state legislators (particularly in the Senate), and city port commissioners (the ones in Bellingham aren't any better).
Hey Syd, why aren't you writing about the cargo ships and fishing boats that spill more?
I forgot, you have a Slant. Never mind.
Thrill Killer - loving your witless distraction. You seem to be up on how cargo ships and fishing boats spills are more harmful. So, instead of telling Syd "Good on ya," for wanting to illustrate a potential hazardous problem that needs solving, your logic is that since *he* isn't trying to solve that particular issue here that it's somehow less important or relevant? Jesus, you're a stupid moron. If you are so worried about those issues that are *not* the focus of this article why don't you spend your time and energy working to solve them yourself and let us know how it's going, mkay? By your logic no one should ever try to fix or improve anything until everything else is perfect first. So really you don't give a flying fuck and just want to tell everyone you think Syd is a poopy head since his priorities apparently differ from yours. You win the logic award of the hour:)
@7 I don't need to solve anything. As I don't see the Polar Pioneer as a problem. And why is everyone caring now about where the rig is being parked. And where the drilling is to take place. It's a lesser issue in the whole Drill Rig debate. If the "Public" spoke up in 2008 when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management sought Public Comment prior to the Lease Sale #193 which Shell acquired. Or, even before that when they did exploratory drilling there to see if the site was even viable for exploration.

So, complaining about a rig 7-8 years after the start of the process is counterproductive to the current situation. As Shell is STILL going to use that rig to drill. If Syd cared. It should have been long ago when the BOEM was seeking public comment on the proposal to Lease Lot #193 And not now when there's nothing to be done about it.

Don't forget to send me my Logic Award.
What a joke, the Arctic Challenger isn't even docked in Seattle. This sounds like a bunch of propaganda aimed to scare you.

Let me ask you this, is it better to have the oil rigs docked in Seattle where they will be monitored 24/7 so that if an ounce of salad dressing is spilled it will be reported or do they continue on to a foreign location.

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