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I was disappointed to read of the mayor’s support for some council members’ attempts to quash Foss’ lease with the Port of Seattle [“Critics sound off against Port of Seattle’s lease for Shell drilling-fleet base,” Local News, March 10]. It is frustrating to hear the good-meaning but uninformed local politicians and policymakers bash the Port of Seattle and Foss Maritime for conducting responsible maritime commerce at our commercial maritime seaport.

Foss and their Northwest maritime industry colleagues are among the safest, most environmentally sensitive maritime companies in the world. Regional policymakers and environmental groups need to know that engaging Foss and our local industry in resource exploration and extraction is the best way to ensure that it is done safely and conscientiously.

Engagement of our local maritime expertise is the best way to ensure energy independence, a vibrant local economy and responsible environmental stewardship of our natural resources.

To prohibit our local industry from participating in legal and responsible maritime commerce is to open the door to irresponsible unsafe operators. It’s bad economic policy, bad social policy and bad environmental policy.

I urge responsible citizens to educate themselves about the sophistication, innovation and environmental record of our local maritime industry. You will be impressed with what you learn.

Peter Philips, president of Philips Publishing Group, Normandy Park