Shell’s Arctic drilling operations have been a mess, resulting in hefty fines for violations of environmental and safety laws – and that is apart from the alarming implications for our carbon emissions. So why would the Port of Seattle welcome Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet to a Puget Sound homeport? This action undermines progress made in greening the port and in protecting and restoring Puget Sound.

Protecting and restoring Puget Sound requires smart decisions. The Port of Seattle claims to do their part and hopes to be a “national leader in sustainable port operations.” But the Port is bringing Shell’s Arctic oil drilling fleet to Seattle thanks to a hasty decision that lacked transparency and proper review of environmental risks. This rush makes little sense for a drilling program with such a poor record. Shell’s Arctic fleet will put the Duwamish River and Puget Sound at risk if there is a repeat of past pollution problems.

WEC is joining Seattle Audubon, Sierra Club, and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance in challenging the Port’s decision in court, represented by Earthjustice. Our lawsuit seeks a proper environmental review before a decision is made. It’s not enough for the Port to do restoration projects and improve energy efficiency to be green. Broader efforts to think through business actions are necessary. We look forward to the day when we can work together with the Port on sustainability instead of challenging unfortunate decisions.