Democrats to Biden: Block deep-sea mining

By Hannah Northey | 07/01/2024 01:37 PM EDT

The plea comes as countries work on rules for extracting minerals from the ocean floor.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee, wants the president to take a stance against deep-sea mining. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House Democrats are calling on President Joe Biden to impose a moratorium on any U.S. support for deep-sea mining until more research is conducted.

The lawmakers urged against the approval of any federal grants for a private company at the forefront of efforts to mine the world’s oceans.

House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and 11 of his colleagues warned in a letter Friday that not enough is known about deep-sea mining and that international safeguards are not yet in place. At least one company — the Metals Co. — has indicated it will try to move forward.


“We are writing to urge you to support a precautionary pause or moratorium on deep seabed mining until and unless there is sufficient scientific information and knowledge of the deep sea and the potential environmental, social, and economic impacts of this new speculative extractive industry,” the lawmakers wrote.