Activists fighting climate change came together today at the Port of Seattle to celebrate a victory as Royal Dutch Shell announces an end to oil and gas exploration “for the foreseeable future” as they did not find sufficient oil and gas reserves in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea. Shell’s additional reasoning for ending drilling in the Chukchi Sea was the “challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.”
Zarna Joshi, a climate activist with Women of Color for Systemic Change, had this to say in reply…”You know what was challenging and unpredictable? Us. We challenged them and we showed them that you cannot predict that the people are going to sit by and let this happen. If fact, you can count on the fact that people will rise up they’re going to stop you, and they’re going to stop this. David can bring down Goliath, we did it. If the people had not risen up…all over the planet against Shell over Arctic drilling and over fossil fuels, there’s no way Shell would have said it was pulling out of Arctic drilling. There would be other companies trying to go up there to drill in the Arctic, but the fact that none of them are even daring to bring it up is the power of the people. They know that the moment that they try, we are going to rise up against them.”
Through their efforts in Seattle, Portland, and Alaska, activists have brought attention to the effects of a fossil fuel economy on climate change. Activists have discussed continued pressure against the fossil fuel industry with protests against oil trains and a fossil fuel divestment campaign aimed at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Climate activists say they have struck a huge blow to the reputation of Shell, and with a $7bn price tag on oil exploration in the Arctic and no return on investment, Shell will be forced to pay attention to its investors as well.
“Shell No Victory Press Release
Shellno Activists Held Victory Press Conference at Port of Seattle Headquarters
SEATTLE, WA, Tuesday May 29th 2015 – The Shellno Action Council held a victory press conference outside Pier 69 at 2pm, Monday Sept 28th. The event was an impromptu celebration of the movement’s victory Monday morning when Shell announced its plans to pull out of the Arctic for the foreseeable future. This victory comes on the back of the global attention Seattle received over the Shellno direct actions on water and land to stop Shell’s Arctic drilling. The movement consists of many local groups and individuals, including Rising Tide Seattle, Idle No More, Bayan PNW, 350Seattle, Raging Grannies, Plant for the Planet, Backbone Campaign, Mosquito Fleet, Women of Color Speak Out, Greenpeace and many more. There are now Shellno Action Councils in Seattle, Portland, Bellingham, San Francisco, and Alaska. Shellno has intensified the global movement against corporate resource extraction by illustrating how kayaktivism and land blockades, as well as grassroots cross movement building can stop Shell’s destructive activities around the world and and can prevent further fossil fuel extraction.
Shellno activist Zarna Joshi said: “We’re here at the Port of Seattle because this is where it all started. The Port Commissioners thought that they could make a secret deal with Shell and get away with it but we didn’t let them. We called out corruption and put ourselves on the line to defend the Arctic. We stood in solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Alaska and the Salish Seas and we’re here to say that we’ve won the battle and now we’re going to win the war. This fossil fuel system needs to end.”
Shellno activist Kurtis Dengler said: “Shell would have us believe that this decision was purely economic but we all know that the growing Shellno movement has shifted the political landscape dramatically and created resistance every step of the way from Portland to Alaska. Now it’s time for President Obama to see the writing on the wall and close the books on Arctic drilling for good.”
Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign said: “This should be a warning sign to any dirty energy corporation and elected officials tempted to do their bidding. These projects are toxic to the planet as well as their profits, reputations, and relevance as leaders. We, the People, demand a pivot toward renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure.”
The Shellno Action Council also released this video: https://www.facebook.com/Shellnoactioncouncil/videos/vb.1625994030965721/1691489264416197/?type=2&theater
The next Shellno meeting will be at 6:30pm on Monday Oct 5th at the Hillman City Collaboratory to plan the next steps of the movement and new members are invited to attend the meeting. Shell may still bring their Arctic drilling rig back to Seattle as they end operations and the climate activists say they will be ready for them, organized and united. “Don’t let anybody tell you that this system can’t be changed,” Zarna Joshi said. “The people have the power and David can literally stop Goliath.”
Visit Shellno Action Council’s Facebook page for details on the next meeting and upcoming celebration parties.
For more information about Shellno and its members, visit