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Groups Call On Port Of Seattle To Reconsider Lease To Shell Oil

<p><span style="color: #3d3d3d; font-family: Lato, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14.3999996185303px; font-style: italic; letter-spacing: 0.0799999982118607px; line-height: 18px; word-spacing: 0.400000005960465px; background-color: rgba(241, 243, 242, 0.4);">Shell Oil's Kulluk drill rig, hard aground off Alaska's Sitkalidak Island in January 2013</span></p>

Shell Oil's Kulluk drill rig, hard aground off Alaska's Sitkalidak Island in January 2013

The Port of Seattle could soon host drill rigs and barges belonging to Shell Oil.

Earlier this month the Port Commission voted to lease Terminal 5 in West Seattle to Shell to moor and perform maintenance on drilling equipment during the winter months.

On Wednesday, EarthJustice and eight other environmental groups called on the port to reconsider its decision.

The groups say the lease enables Shell to continue its controversial oil exploration in the arctic, and will add to industrial pollution in Puget Sound.

They sent a letter to the port calling for a more comprehensive review, with opportunities for public comment.

The Port of Seattle said that it will review the letter but that leasing Terminal 5 to Shell has the potential to create hundreds of family-wage jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

The environmental groups asked for a response from the port by Feb. 9.

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