Businesses Balk at Dealing with Ocean Threat

Posted: February 14, 2013  |  By: John Stang [Crosscut.com]

Business interests say a proposal to deal with the rising acidity of Washington's coastal waters is "not ready for prime time."

The Association of Washington Business and the Washington Farm Bureau lined up Wednesday against a bill to create a council to advise the state government on how to tackle ocean acidification. The bill also calls for considering the acidity of water runoff in urban planning efforts.

"Most of those recommendations (by a 2012 scientific, business and legislative panel on how to deal with ocean acidification) the business community doesn't believe are ready for prime time," AWB representative Brandon Houskeeper told the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Tom Davis of the Washington Farm Bureau argued that science has not shown that local factors are increasing ocean acidification. However, ocean scientists and biologists on the 2012 panel pointed to industrial emissions and water runoff as factors in increasing the acidity of Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean off Washington's West Coast.

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