Shell came under criticism at a meeting in Unalaska last week from an unlikely pair, a representative of Greenpeace concerned about global environmental impacts and city official -- and pro-developoment booster -- Frank Kelty, complaining about local impacts brought by the influx of oil company workers filling up the hotel and displacing birders and other tourists.
“Shell’s taking over the whole place,” said Kelty, referring to the Grand Aleutian Hotel, and citing other impacts. Local residents are having to wait for deliveries from the United Parcel Service, because airplanes are filled up with Shell packages, said Kelty.
Kelty also complained about jammed cell phone service, and slow Internet performance. But the net problem might not be Shell’s fault, he quickly added. “We have a lot of Internet problems here as it is,” he said.
Kelty, the local government’s natural resource analyst and fisheries lobbyist, attended the meeting at the senior center along with City Manager Don Moore. About 35 local residents showed up, most of them opposed to Shell’s drilling plans in the Chukchi Sea about 1,000 miles to the north in Arctic Ocean. Many of the same people protested drilling three days later in a coastline rally with the drill rig Polar Pioneer anchored in the background across the bay.
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