Topic: Waterfront (74)

Bye Bye

Byy On

Merry Christmas and Seasons' Greetings. The Grinch has left the building. We can all breath a bit easier. The huge Shell Oil floating drill platform is - as I write this - going west out the Straits of Georgia, leaving us for good at a speed of 11 mph. Bye bye.

The Port Angeles newspaper, the Peninsula Daily News, has been watching and reporting on the oil rig for the past week and you can read the full story there. There are links to the specific articles below this post. The photo above shows actually two vessels - the yellow legged Shell drilling rig Polar Pioneer that normally floats and is towed by tugs - and the Dockwise Vanguard, one of the largest vessels in the world that is carrying the drilling rig. The Vanguard can carry a ship or rig that is heavier than a nuclear aircraft carrier. Awesome.

The two will travel down the west coast of the Americas, round South America through the Strait of Magellan, and go north to Norway. Far far from us.

In Bellingham, we had vigorous and effective protests last May to one of the support vessels for this drilling rig. There were also mass kayak protests in Seattle and Portland to other support vessels. For those who might think such protests have nothing to do with the rig leaving, just consider if we had all greeted and cheered on the oil drilling rigs when they were here. Shell might be preparing for more drilling in the summer of 2016 in the Arctic. In truth we do not know how much effect the protests had, but they certainly might have contributed to the decision by Shell to end drilling in the Arctic. So, we thank the protestors.

Chiara D’Angelo especially can be thanked. During the kayak protest here, she suddenly and on her own initiative climbed the anchor chain of a support vessel in Bellingham and hung there for three days and nights. She drew world wide attention to the efforts of Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic. And Shell did not want that publicity.

So today the Shell rig leaves with its proverbial tail between its legs. Slinking out the Straits to the Pacific and to Norway. A nice Christmas gift for all of us in the Pacific Northwest. Happy Holidays. The Arctic has a fresh chance to avoid the black stains of oil spills. As I prepare to post and open this article, a last check on the ships shows them past the straits and out in the Pacific, turning southwest. Bye bye.

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About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

Comments by Readers

Walter Haugen

Dec 25, 2015

Not to get your hopes up or anything, but you might want to consider that it took MILLIONS of antiwar protesters to have an effect on LBJ and Richard Nixon.


John Servais

Dec 25, 2015

Thank you Walter for that message of Hope on this special day.  What did it for LBJ was realizing he could not win the next presidential election, not the protestors. He had lost the non-protesting middle class. Nixon brought himself down and protestors were not even a side show.  You are right though that protesting is the long hard way to change.  The kayak protests were colorfully visual and represented a middle class with money.  In the end, it was Shell’s inability to manage their project, not the protestors.  The arctic environment is the true winner as it defeated Shell.

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Bye Bye

By John ServaisOn Dec 25, 2015

Merry Christmas and Seasons' Greetings. The Grinch has left the building. We can all breath a bit easier. The huge Shell Oil floating drill platform is - as I write [...]

2 comments, most recent 4 years ago

A Learning Moment - Hopefully

By John ServaisOn Sep 13, 2015

I was going to cross the railway bridge over the Padden Creek Lagoon - but paused as I heard the dull, quiet rumble of a train engine from the direction [...]

2 comments, most recent 5 years ago

Chiara D’Angelo comes down from anchor chain

By John ServaisOn May 25, 2015

Young 20 year old Chiara Rose D'Angelo has come down from the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger, the Shell Oil drilling support barge. Chiara spent three nights hanging from [...]

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3 comments, most recent 5 years ago

Port Gives Away Our Bellingham Waterfront

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32 comments, most recent 5 years ago

Robyn du Pre` Has Passed On

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1 comment, most recent 6 years ago

Port Memo Addresses Marina Fraud Allegations

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5 comments, most recent 6 years ago

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2 comments, most recent 6 years ago

Video Exposes City Council Dysfunction on Waterfront Plan

By John ServaisOn Dec 05, 2013

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2 comments, most recent 6 years ago

Cascadia Weekly Blasts Waterfront Plan

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4 comments, most recent 6 years ago

Boulevard Park Reopens

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6 comments, most recent 6 years ago

Treaty Rights and Public Rights Ignored In Overwater Walkway

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4 comments, most recent 6 years ago

Wildlife Impacts Missing In COB Waterfront District EIS

By Wendy HarrisOn Sep 28, 2013

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Sen. Doug Ericksen Co-opts rather than Cooperate

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Waterfront “Planned Action Ordinance” Limits Restoration and Public Input

By Wendy HarrisOn Mar 26, 2013

I oppose the proposed Planned Action Ordinance (PAO) for the waterfront. The public is being asked to cede oversight and control over waterfront development projects. The PAO will eliminate public [...]

1 comment, most recent 7 years ago

Valuable Article in the Whatcom Watch

By John ServaisOn Mar 17, 2013

Wendy Harris has a revealing article in the March issue of Whatcom Watch about the proposed boardwalk connecting Boulevard Park and the south end of Cornwall Avenue. This is an [...]

3 comments, most recent 7 years ago

Waterfront EIS Revised Without Public Process

By Wendy HarrisOn Feb 19, 2013

The Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham have proposed revisions to the Waterfront District Subarea Plan that will be the subject of Bellingham Planning Commission review beginning on [...]