Shell is spending a million bucks to undo the damage of a couple hours of not watching the boat. They’re saying there was no physical damage to the Noble Discoverer, but that’s not the sort of damage Shell is worried about anyway. They’re fighting a credibility war with powerful forces who don’t think Shell belongs in the Arctic. The image of the giant ship up against the beach has flashed around the world and like Clinton in the oval office, Shell is in damage control mode.
They are bringing forth every detail, every technological fact to show us that what we think we saw didn’t actually happen. Fortunately for Unalaska, this is a town of seafarers. This town knows somebody wasn’t doing their job and no amount of high-tech evidence can change that reality.
A lot of people I’ve talked to don’t want to be identified because they hope to get work with Shell. They know if Shell is denied the opportunity to drill in the Arctic there won’t be Greenpeace jobs all around for rural Alaskans. So there is plenty of support for Shell. There just isn’t support for a small group of overpaid English majors who were 800 miles away when the stern of the Noble Discoverer bumped up against the beach. Let the guy in the Carhartts with the VHF radio in his massive paw step forward and tell us what happened. Let’s hear it from the nuts and bolts guy.
Local people tell me Shell’s top Alaska people are in Unalaska tonight. I’d sure love an interview. My telephone number is 581-6850. But not with the PR guy. Boots on the Ground News likes to talk to the person who really has something to say.