California bill aims to outlaw controversial seabed mining in state waters

Date: February 10, 2022

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Author: Tara Duggan

Legislation introduced Tuesday aims to protect California waters from the controversial deep-sea mining industry.

While proponents say it holds promise for the expanding green energy sector, critics say it would kill marine life, damage habitats and pollute surrounding areas, and ultimately could have a negative impact on fishing and tourism, which together contribute more than $20 billion annually to the state’s economy.

The California Seabed Mining Prevention Act would ban mining in California waters, which extend 3 miles off the coast, and protect 2,500 square miles of sea floor. If passed into law, California would follow the lead of Oregon and Washington, which outlawed the practice in state waters in 1991 and 2021, respectively.

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