In part, the Seattle City Council's Resolution 31576 states, "WHEREAS, broad community support for the policies and investments needed to sustain and improve the Port as a working waterfront with a significant number of family-supporting jobs 

is vital to the future of the Port and Seattle’s employment base, and that support would be 
undermined by use of the Port to stage Arctic drilling operations.
We suppose that the next step will be for the Mayor to demand that the Port Commission order the Airport to not permit cargo flights that originate from Seattle if they are providing logistical support to Alaska North Slope oil production.  -dh

See our commentary below (column, lower right) on the Port of Seattle Commission meeting today.  We would also draw readers' attention to the efforts of the Seattle City Council to subject virtually every City and Port of Seattle policy to the vagaries of "Climate Change" philosophies du jour.'  We say, "vagaries" because so many of the justifications used in the resolution are bald, vague assertions without reference to specific facts or scientific findings.

If City Council Resolution 31576 is adopted and if the Port of Seattle agrees with it, Shell's current staging plans at Terminal 5 could be grudgingly accepted by a tie breaking vote.  

However, all future oil and gas related or energy using activity could be prohibited uses — even those occurring far away with City or Port staging, supplying or other support functions.  -dh 

Governor Bill Walker, Arctic Policy, Photo by Dave HarbourEarly Tuesday News: It is significant that —  as the Port of Seattle Commissioners prepare to meet on an Arctic policy matter today in Seattle, Governor Bill Walker (NGP Photo) signed an Arctic policy bill into law yesterday, taking a major step forward in defining Alaska’s involvement in Arctic development. Sponsored

Today's Port of Seattle Commissioners Meeting Agenda and Streaming Live Video.  Links are here.

Commentary: "Educating Seattle"

We encourage readers to provide comment to the Port of Seattle Commissioners, who are meeting today on the subject of providing port support for Shell Oil's summer exploration program in the Chukchi Sea.

Here is our comment; and, here is our 2002 speech to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, whose theme is generally relevant to the current Port issue. 

Here is a comment from Aves Thompson, Alaska Trucking Association, Shell, Port of Seattle, Dave Harbour PhotoAves Thompson (NGP Photo), Alaska Trucking Association.

Here is the opinion of the Seattle Times. 

Send us your comment/opinion and we will post it here for our archives.

We hope that Alaska's Governor and a number of Alaska's elected officials — particularly Mayors and Legislators — provide friendly comment to the Seattle Port Commissioners before this issue is resolved.  

Regardless about how this particular matter evolves, we predict that Alaska's relationship with Seattle can only improve from here on out.


Because many Alaskans went to the expense, on short notice, of flying to Seattle to testify today before Port Commissioners.

We believe our Alaska colleagues and Seattle Chamber friends will discover — through this port challenge — that Alaska myths pervade the Western Slope, coastal communities of Washington, especially in what has become a very socialistic city of Seattle.

Doc Hastings, Alaska, Port of Seattle, shell, Photo by Dave HarbourWe revered the congressional leadership of Doc Hastings (NGP Photo) before he retired, and before him the moderate and balanced leadership of Senators Warren Magnuson and Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson whose legendary cooperation Ted Stevens, Senator, Alaska, Port of Seattle, Magnuson, Jackson, ANILCA, Dave Harbour Photowith Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (NGP Photo) produced such landmark legislation as the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (i.e. balancing ANWR oil development with wilderness protection), and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The new crew of elected leaders has now taken over and it is critical that Alaskans and their Seattle counterparts conduct information programs designed to properly educate our SeaTac/Seaport friends about the true and critical relationships existing between our two communities.

To not educate new generations of constituencies with fact and history is to leave their education to those espousing political agendas.


Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) released a statement on Shell's Arctic program….

by Representative Bob Herron of Bethel, HB 1 outlines the state’s priorities for Arctic policy and spells out ways in which the state will attain those priorities.

“As the United States assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council, it’s important that Alaska establishes itself as a leader in Arctic issues,” Governor Walker said. “This legislation is significant because it is the first of its kind to define Alaska’s role in the rapidly-changing Arctic.”

HB 1 outlines Alaska’s Arctic policy priorities as promoting economic and resource development, addressing the infrastructure and response capacity gap in the Arctic region, supporting healthy communities, and strengthening a state-based agenda for science and research in the Arctic.

“Our country is an Arctic nation because of Alaska,” Governor Walker said. “That is why it is absolutely critical that we have a seat at the table for Arctic development discussions. I commend Representative Herron and the co-sponsors of this bill for taking on such an important issue.”

Monday’s bill signing took place at the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation office in Anchorage.

“I also thank members of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission for their two years of work in setting the stage for this bill,” Governor Walker said. “Their implementation plan paved the way for this important legislation.”

1.  To view the full text of enrolled HB 1:

2.  For more information on the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, visit


Also see National Strategy for the Arctic

UT San Diego.  A giant floating oil rig currently anchored off Port Angeles, Washington, will be towed to Seattle this week despite the Seattle mayor's assertion that​….


Comment from Aves Thompson, Alaska Trucking Association:

Port of Seattle Commissioners:

Tom Albro

Stephanie Bowman

Bill Bryant

John Creighton

Courtney Gregoire


Dear Commissioners, 

I am writing on behalf of the Alaska Trucking Association to urge you to vote against any effort by the Seattle City Council to interfere with the Port of Seattle’s lease provisions for Terminal 5 to Foss Maritime.  The most immediate of which is Council Member O’Brien’s resolution urging the Port of Seattle to reconsider its Terminal 5 lease.

One of the basic tenets of the free market is contract law.  Without the inviolable obligation to honor a contract, all transactions become suspect.  How can one conduct a business operation if there is no reasonable expectation of the contract performance of each party. 

Many people in Seattle and King County have jobs as a result of Alaska trade.  It seems to us that the action to deny lease space to Shell is an affront not only to your friends and neighbors but also to your Alaskan neighbors. 

Alaska has been and continues to be one of the Port of Seattle’s largest trading partners and both Alaska and Seattle, including the rest of the state of Washington have benefited greatly from this trading partnership. 

Alaska depends on oil and gas production to support our economy.  Anything that reduces Alaska’s ability to produce oil has a negative effect on Alaska’s economy thereby having a negative effect on the many Seattle and King county residents whose jobs depend on Alaska trade.   

Shell Oil has an enormous investment in Alaska in an effort to develop the offshore oil leases it acquired years ago.  Please let them stage their operations under the terms of the lease provisions for Terminal 5.   

Thank you for your consideration. 

Aves Thompson, Executive Director

Alaska Trucking Association

3443 Minnesota Drive

Anchorage, AK 99503

(907) 276-1149


Yesterday, the Department of the Interior gave conditional approval to allow Shell to move forward with developing Alaska’s offshore areas. Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) released the following statement.  


“The Obama Administration’s decision to approve Shell’s exploratory plan is finally a sign of its affirmation of the industry’s safe record in offshore development. Government officials and regulators have confirmed that developing offshore resources in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico is absolutely safe. Yet, this is just an initial step in what will be many more hurdles for Shell and the entire offshore industry.  Many barriers remain, most notably the barrage of regulations contained in the Arctic rule announced by the Administration in January.  As we look for more opportunities to expand responsible energy development offshore, these barriers must be overcome.


“The Committee will do its part to help address these challenges through oversight of the Administration and by greater engagement with both states and the private sector, which is the driving force behind innovations in safety and production capabilities. I endorse this first step and hope it means future cooperation between Congress and the Administration.”


The Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing last month that featured industry innovations in safety in the offshore, and will be holding an oversight hearing to examine the implications of the Arctic Rule next month.