Mike O'Brien and Ed Murray urge investigation into Port's housing of Shell
at 5:15pm by David Kroman
Seattlepi.com broke the news a while back; The Stranger, arguably, made it a hot button issue: The Port of Seattle, whose motto is “Where a sustainable world is headed,” is leasing space to the Royal Dutch Shell oil company to house its Arctic drilling fleet.
Now, City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is urging the whole council to stand against that deal. He passed around a letter in Monday’s council briefing that argued the permit issued in 1996 for Terminal 5, where the Arctic fleet sits, was meant for cargo only. With regards to Shell’s occupancy, he said, “That use may be inconsistent with the existing permit.” He concluded by hoping for an investigation.
On KUOW’s Week in Review last Friday, Crosscut’s Knute Berger pointed to this as an example of a deep-seated conflict within Seattle: The city relies on and supports blue collar industries like the Port and Boeing, but citizens are often wary of the work they do.
Some argue if Seattle doesn’t play host, someone else will. “The issue is whether we and Seattle enjoy the benefit of the jobs this will reap,” said Paul Stevens, CEO of Foss in a post on the West Seattle Blog. But K.C. Golden, policy director at Climate Solutions, said in seattlepi.com, “The model of fossil fuel development is not consistent with goals of this community. It is time to stand up to the fossil fuel industry.”
O’Brien appeared to have support from his council colleagues and, he says, from the mayor: “The mayor’s office is interested in signing on to this letter.”
Update 5:20 PM: As reported by the Stranger, Mayor Ed Murray asked the Seattle Department of Planning and Development to “conduct a thorough review of the Terminal 5 proposal” from the Port of Seattle so that all environmental and economic impacts of the lease are “sufficiently disclosed” to the public. The move by the mayor hopscotches over O’Brien’s letter, which was urging exactly this action.