Environmental activists in Portland, Oregon are trying to stop the Shell Oil Company from moving a support ship to the Arctic Ocean for oil drilling operations.
The demonstrations are happening on and above the Willamette River. Protesters have been seen in kayaks on the river and suspended above the water from the St. Johns Bridge along the ship’s path. Activists are targeting the Fennica, which is carrying emergency oil spill containment equipment.
Without the Fennica and its equipment, the Polar Pioneer rig can’t begin drilling operations, even though the White House has already approved Shell’s exploratory drilling permits for Arctic oil.
It’s unlikely the demonstrations will prevent the Fennica from leaving Portland, but protesters say every delay helps their cause.
“It might be an annoyance to them at some point,” demonstrator Rogue Robertson told KGW-TV. “When we actually do keep them delayed, every day adds to their bottom line costs … We have to send a message to them, it’s going to cost them money.”
The ship arrived in Portland last weekend for repair work to the the hull. The ship is scheduled to be at its drilling site next month.