Protesters slam Port of Seattle over Shell Corp. lease

SEATTLE -- Protesters showed up at the Port of Seattle Commission hearing Tuesday to oppose the Port’s recent deal with the oil giant Shell.

"There’s nothing good about this,” said Zarna Joshi, of the Coalition of Port Accountability.  "Except that a few people at the top in Shell make money."

The company intends to use Terminal 5 to base its Arctic drilling fleet.  During the summer months, those vessels will travel up to Alaska to drill for oil.  During the winter months, the fleet would be parked and serviced in Seattle.

Environmentalists argue that anything that helps Shell with drilling for oil off the coast of Alaska will further damage the planet.  That’s because any oil recovered will eventually find its way into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases.

“Your child, my grandchild and the unborn grandchild of our grandchildren are going to live with what we do to this society,” said one opponent during public testimony in front of the Port commissioners.

Supporters say that upwards of 500 jobs could be created if the lease goes through.  They also cite the $13 million that Shell will be paying the Port during the two-year deal.

“The commerce created by this project is central to commercial development in the marine industry,” said Skip Volke, of Foss Maritime.

Protesters hope to convince the Port to reverse its decision.