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    A man on a stand up paddle board is seen in front of the Shell Oil Company's drilling rig Polar Pioneer along the Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington, May 14, 2015

    Peaceful Protests in Seattle Challenge Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plans

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    The US Coast Guard said that US authorities have not made any arrests as hundreds of peaceful protestors in Seattle march against a Royal Dutch Shell oil rig at the Port of Seattle following protests throughout the weekend.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US authorities have not made any arrests as hundreds of peaceful protestors in Seattle march against a Royal Dutch Shell oil rig at the Port of Seattle following protests throughout the weekend, the US Coast Guard told Sputnik.

    “From maritime side of things including Saturday’s demonstration and kayakers on the water there have been no arrests or detainees,” US Coast Guard Lieutenant Dana Warr said on Monday. “Our primary conversation has been educational in nature to ensure protestors know to stay 100 yards from the oil rig.”

    A coalition of US environmental groups and citizens in Seattle opposed to oil giant Shell’s Arctic drilling are continuing weekend protests on Monday, and plan to shut down rig work in the Port of Seattle.

    Protestors successfully blocked access to the oil rig on Monday, according to social media websites.

    On Saturday, several hundred protestors on land and in kayaks, tribal canoes and sailboats hit Seattle’s Elliot Bay in protests, dubbed the “Paddle in Seattle,” against Shell’s plans to base two of its oil rigs in Seattle on their way to Alaska.

    Shell plans to base the two oil rigs, which have had prior environmental violations, at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 during the winter.

    On May 11, 2015, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved Shell’s multi-year exploration plan to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s coast. The drilling can start as early as in summer 2015.

    Shell's Arctic drilling plans have stirred much controversy in Seattle, with Mayor Ed Murray and the city council openly voicing opposition to the oil giant’s presence in the Seattle’s port.

    Murray also called to delay the oil rigs’ arrival to sort out bureaucratic issues, arguing Shell’s drilling rigs are not cargo vessels and the port lacked the right permit to host them.

    On Friday, inspectors from Seattle's Department of Planning and Development determined the port is not designed for the maintenance of oil rigs.

    Environmental groups have argued Arctic drilling poses danger to unique ecosystems and will contribute to global warming.


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