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Royal Dutch Shell Oil Rigs To Be Confronted By ‘Festival Of Resistance’

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: May 14, 2015 

Environmentalists have planned to confront Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) oil rigs, which are set to arrive at Seattle’s port this week. The oil company plans to use them in the Arctic later this year.

Shell has been planning to go back to the Arctic, in pursuit of the vast oil resources in the region. However, the oil giant has faced severe opposition from environmental groups, who argue that the company lacks the ability to clean up any potential disasters.

In the latest hurdle to Shell’s Arctic plans, environmentalists have organized the “festival of resistance”, a three-day event that would include confronting the oil company’s drilling rigs as they are on their way to Seattle. The festival, set to start on Saturday, would see environmentalists approach the rigs, when they reach Elliott Bay.

John Sellers, who opposes drilling in the Arctic, has revealed his intentions to join the “resistance.” “It is the perfect tactic to paddle out and meet the rigs on water,” Mr. Sellers told the Associated Press. “The rigs are on the water, that’s where they do their business, that’s where they’re doing the damage,” he added.

While environmentalists are determined to oppose the company’s exploration plans in the Arctic, they would still observe the safety zones set up by the US Coast Guard around the ships that are carrying the rigs.

Backbone Campaign’s executive director, Bill Moyer, believes that normal people can barely seem to have any meaningful impact on bigger issues such as climate change and Arctic drilling. However, he sees the “festival” as an opportunity for normal people to express their opinion on major issues.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr. Moyer said: “So this moment is a historic opportunity for regular people to demonstrate their desire for a pivot away from fossil fuels.”

Shell plans to use the Seattle port to dock its fleet of rig-carrying vessels, before they eventually leave for Arctic. The city said last week that the port needs to obtain new permits, as its current land-use permit does not allow for ship docking.

However, the oil company said it would go ahead with its plans to dock its vessels at the port.

Shell has cleared the biggest hurdle in its path to Arctic exploration, as it won the US government’s conditional approval on Monday. The approval would require Shell to comply with stricter safety requirements and obtain additional permits.

SOURCE

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