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Will U.S. Sovereignty be LOST at Sea?

“The [LOST] treaty proposes to create a new global governance institution that would regulate American citizens and businesses without being accountable politically to the American people. Some treaty proponents pay little attention to constitutional concerns about democratic legislative processes and principles pf self-government, but I believe the American people take seriously such threats to the foundations of our nation.” [2]

- Donald Rumsfeld, “Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas,” June 12, 2012.  

A proposed Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which has not yet ratified by Congress will grant a newly established U.N. bureaucracy, the Kingston, Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority (ISA), power to regulate deep-sea oil exploration, drilling operations, seabed mining, and fishing rights beyond 200 miles of our coast. As part of the deal, as much as 7% of U.S. government revenue that is collected from these oil and gas operations will be forked over to ISA for redistribution to poorer, landlocked countries.

Under current law, oil companies are required to pay royalties to the U.S. Treasury (typically at a rate of 12 ½% to 18%) for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Northern coast of Alaska. If LOST is ratified, we will be required to pay 1% of those “international royalties” beginning in the sixth year of production at each site, with rates increasing at 1% annual increments until the 12th year when they would remain at 7% thereafter. This can amount to billions, if not trillions of dollars. [1]

The U.S. would have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money would go, and be obligated to hand over offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it… for free. Those recipients will most likely include such undemocratic, despotic and brutal governments as Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe…all current voting members of LOST.

Background

The treaty was originally drafted in 1968 at the behest of Soviet bloc and Third World dictators interested in implementing a scheme to weaken U.S. power and transferring wealth from industrialized countries to the developing world. It had been co-authored by Elisabeth Mann Borgese, a socialist and admirer of Karl Marx who ran the World Federation of Canada. In a 1999 speech she declared: “The world ocean has been and is so to speak, our great laboratory for making a new world order.”

Recognizing this as a global grab, President Reagan refused to sign, stating in his farewell address to the nation in 1988:

Don’t be afraid to see what you see…If the members of the U.S. Senate fulfill their responsibilities, read the Law of the Sea Treaty and consider it carefully, I believe they will come to the conclusion that its costs to our security and sovereignty would far exceed any benefits. [2]

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reported that when he met with Mrs. Thatcher in 1982, she had the same opinion, saying: “What this treaty poses is nothing less than international nationalization of roughly two-thirds of the Earth’s surface….And you know how I feel about nationalization. Tell Ronnie I’m with him.”

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warns that world circumstances are even much less favorable to the U.S. for LOST enactment now: “With China emerging as a major power, ratifying the treaty would encourage Sino-American strife, constrain U.S. naval activities and do nothing to resolve China’s expansive maritime territorial claims.” [3]

U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had both supported the treaty during their tenures, but they never sent it to the Senate for ratification because of opposition over concerns that it will limit commerce and allow international bodies to wield control over U.S. interests.

During W’s term of office, then-Senator Joe Biden introduced LOST before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he chaired in 2007, yet it was never brought to the floor for a vote. The Obama administration has now openly supported Senate action since at least 2009 when it released its Treaty Priority List.

Flawed Rationale

The treaty has been pitched as an effort to protect the world’s oceans from environmental damage and to avoid potential conflicts between nations. Accordingly, ISA would settle international maritime and jurisdictional disputes.

It even contains a clause empowering the ISA to take whatever steps it deems necessary to stop “marine pollution.” This could potentially include restrictions upon ship carbon dioxide emissions they might claim causes warming of the sea surface temperature, rising sea levels, and changes in ocean pH as a consequence of higher CO2 levels in sea water. And since it would be “self-executing”, U.S. courts can be used to enforce it. [4, 5]

Powerful environmental organizations love LOST because it will afford a legal system for dispute resolution which culminates in a 21-member international tribunal (ITLOS) based in Hamburg which can be enforced against American companies without possibilities of U.S. court appeal. Numerous lawsuits charging global warming dangers linked to greenhouse emissions from ships will most likely supersede binding rules of the discredited Kyoto Protocol which the U.S. wisely never ratified.

The U.S. Navy maintains that we need LOST to guarantee free transit in dangerous waters, such as in the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has threatened to block, and in the South China Sea which is dominated by China. Yet freedom of navigation has been recognized under international law for centuries. It was policed by the British Navy over 400 years, and by ours since 1775. Since the U.N. has no navy, it will still be up to us to continue this role. [6]

Those who support the treaty argue that it will clarify rules regarding the high seas…ocean waters beyond our national jurisdiction and in the Arctic Ocean where the U.S., Russia Canada, and several Scandinavian countries have all claimed territorial rights. During her confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said: “If people start drilling in areas that are now ice-free most of the year, and we don’t know where they can or can’t drill or whether we can, we’re going to be disadvantaged. So I think you will have a very receptive audience in our State Department and in our administration.”

Peter Brooks, a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and current Heritage Foundation senior fellow disagrees with that rationale. He argues that: “While LOST’s navigational tenets for operations on high seas, including establishing waters and exclusive economic zones, are of little dispute, some of the other ‘non-navigational’ provisions are what really frighten the treaty’s detractors.”

Political Maneuvering

Given good prospects that the White House and Senate may have fewer Democrat residents after November, Senator Kerry has been working hard to speed up the approval process before moving vans arrive.

Republican Senator Luger, another strong treaty supporter and career globalist, apparently didn’t want to highlight that fact during the course of his hard-fought Indiana reelection campaign. Now, with nothing more to lose following his primary defeat, he can be expected to help push for Senate ratification as early as next month.

Intellectual Pushback

And in addition to establishing and having to deal with still another U.N. agency, and giving away many billions of dollars to “any number of bad actor, corrupt or anti-American regimes” at a time when our country is facing enormous fiscal and budgetary challenges, LOST considers the deep seabed as the “common heritage of mankind”. [7]

Brooks continues:

But what they’re really getting at is if you want to harvest Davy Jones’ locker you need to ask pretty please of…tahdah…the ISA. This Mother-may-I would likely limit or discourage the private sector’s economic opportunities in the deep seabed, affecting the provision of this likely-significant bounty to global markets. Global energy demand…and prices at the pump…seem to be going anywhere but down. We don’t want to allow our energy exploration to be held hostage to the whims of some unaccountable international bureaucrats.

Steven Groves, an international law fellow at the Heritage Foundation agrees, and observes that opposition from Republican members of Congress who have objected reflects a legitimate deep-seated distrust of the United Nations and other international bodies, observing: “This seems to me a bit of a Trojan Horse for the ability of one country to affect another country’s environmental policy. That’s generally something we do not like as conservatives and Americans.” [8]

Consider the history of its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which produced the 1992 Earth Summit Rio Declaration’s rules which have been adopted by a new U.S. National Ocean Council (NOC) established by President Obama through an Executive Order. Principal #15 states that: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by states according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

In other words, those protections can involve whatever restraints on drilling and other activities an organization such as ISA may deem necessary to protect the planet from global warming… whether or not they can scientifically establish that there is a problem…or whether or not those attempted interventions will make a bit of difference.

Conclusion

Headed by Obama science czar and noted climate alarmist John Holdren, the NOC is seen by many as a back door way to sneak LOST in as a “soft law”, the same tactic used when the U.N.’s Agenda 21 failed to pass Congress. This enables it to avoid a 2/3 Senate approval vote hurdle required for all treaties.

As Donald Rumsfeld observes,

“The [LOST] treaty proposes to create a new global governance institution that would regulate American citizens and businesses without being accountable politically to the American people. Some treaty proponents pay little attention to constitutional concerns about democratic legislative processes and principles pf self-government, but I believe the American people take seriously such threats to the foundations of our nation.” [2]

And so do I.

Sources:

1.Law of Sea Treaty Could Cost U.S. Trillions”, Steven Groves, July 6, 2011, The Heritage Foundation.

2. Donald Rumsfeld, “Why the U.N. Shouldn’t Own the Seas,” June 12, 2012.

3. LOST Treaty Is A Threat To U.S. Sovereignty”, May 15, 2012, Phyllis Schafly, Investor’s Business Daily.

4. Dick Morris, “Obama, Hillary Seek Backdoor Climate Pact: Screwed!”, Dick Morris.com.

5. “Accession to U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea Would Expose U.S. to Baseless Climate Change Lawsuits”, Steven Groves, March 12, 2012 The Heritage Foundation (citing Meinhard Doelle, “Climate Change and the Use of the Dispute Settlement Regime of the Law of the Sea Convention,” Ocean Development & International Law, Vol. 37, Nos. 3–4 (2005), p. 324.)

6.Lost at Sea”, May 9, 2012, Investor’s Business Daily.

7.Get Lost, Law of the Sea Treaty!”,Peter Brooks, March 7, 2012, AOL Defense.

8.U.S. Leaders Support Law of the Sea Treaty”, May 9, 2012, Worldwatch Institute.

5 comments

1 Larry Bell: Will U.S. Sovereignty be LOST at Sea? | JunkScience.com { 07.03.12 at 6:27 am }

[...] MasterResource Share this:PrintEmailMoreStumbleUponTwitterFacebookDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in LOST, UN and tagged global governance. Bookmark the permalink. ← Jon Boone: The Inhibiting Power of Dilute Energy [...]

2 Harry Dale Huffman { 07.03.12 at 8:41 am }

I have for some time predicted that the “global warming” fiasco, and other signs of a general “War of the Insane Left” (as I call it), would ineluctably lead to real war if not foresworn and stopped cold. Now I see that distinguishing between the “War of the insane Left” and “real” war, with the Left in power now, is hardly worth the effort. I would only observe that, in order for common sense to break through into the thick heads of most voters–interested only in their daily bread and circuses–the distinction between tyrannous political power and physical violence is but a momentary, flimsy one.

3 Caitlyn Antrim { 07.03.12 at 8:54 am }

The attribution to President Reagan’s farewell address omitted the quotation marks that appeared in Sec. Rumsfeld’s article references in the footnote. The comment about the LOS Convention was Rumsfeld’s, not Reagan’s. President Reagan’s quote was limited to “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.” Reagan had already said he would support a law of the sea convention that corrected issues in six specified areas related to seabed mining, which is what the 1994 Agreement on Implementation accomplished. It is perfectly valid to cite Sec. Rumsfeld’s comments in opposition to the Convention – but don’t put his comments in President Reagan’s mouth by artful use of ellipses and dropping of quotation marks.

4 Ed Reid { 07.03.12 at 9:32 am }

One need only study the actions of the UN General Assembly to appreciate what any form of global governance would look like. It ain’t a pretty picture!

5 Caitlyn Antrim { 07.03.12 at 9:40 am }

Here is the actual quote from the closing paragraph of Donald Rumsfeld’s article in the Wall Street Journal (cited as footnote 2 in Mr. Bell’s article). Note the marks enclosing the actual, limited comment by President Reagan. Sec. Rumsfeld was accurate in his article, but was improperly abridged by Mr. Bell.

Here is Sec. Rumsfeld’s closing paragraph as he wrote it:

In his farewell address to the nation in 1988, Reagan advised the country: “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.” If the members of the U.S. Senate fulfill their responsibilities, read the Law of the Sea Treaty and consider it carefully, I believe they will come to the conclusion that its costs to our security and sovereignty would far exceed any benefits.

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