Seattle Port Commissioner accused of mocking public hearing into lease for Shell fleet

Seattle Port Commissioner accused of mocking public hearing into lease for Shell fleet

Seattle: Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant has been accused by alternative free newspaper The Stranger of mocking Seattle’s citizens and the public process of the hearings into whether Shell should be allowed to moor its Arctic drilling fleet in the city’s port.

In January the Port of Seattle’s five commissioners (including Bryant) had signed a lease with shipping company Foss Maritime to moor its ships in the Terminal Five cargo lane. Foss would then allow Shell to keep its Arctic drilling exploration vessels there.

The Stranger’s story is based on audio of Bryant speaking at an event of the Republican Women’s Club on Thursday in which he allegedly refers dismissively to the January public hearing at which the lease was discussed.

He also speaks with pride of being awarded a ranking of “five dead polar bears” by the newspaper, which has taken an aggressive line on the controversial lease issue.

Green groups brought a lawsuit claiming the lease violated Washington’s State Environmental Policy At and Shoreline Managerial Act. The lawsuit argues the port needed to get new shoreline permits, complete an environmental impact study and allow more time for public comment and review before they signed the lease. Last week a King County judge agreed to hear the case.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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