Diplomacy: After a reprieve from international regulation of our guns, another sovereignty-grabbing U.N. treaty, a pet project of our secretary of state, is still being pushed to declare the oceans the common heritage of mankind.
In the pre-dawn hours last Saturday, the U.S. Senate approved by 53-46 a measure “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”
But a seemingly harmless cousin, the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), remains on the table, with its champion, former Sen. John Kerry, now our secretary of state.
Kerry gave a speech at the Ross Sea Conservation Reception on March 19 in which he suggested that we should have called our planet Ocean rather than Earth. During that speech, he put forth a global environmental agenda centered around the oceans that he has made a priority in his career.
In an Op-Ed for Politico last May titled “Joining Law of the Sea Treaty Can’t Wait,” Kerry **claimed, falsely, that we needed LOST to safeguard our freedom of the seas, settle maritime territorial disputes, safeguard our access to ocean resources, and, most importantly in his view, protect the oceans from being a casualty of climate change.At the Ross conference he spoke of an existing “energy policy that results in acidification, the bleaching of coral, the destruction of species, the change in the Arctic because of the ice melt, and the change in the krill, the population of whales. The entire system is interdependent, and we toy with that at our peril.”
Under LOST, any economic activity, even those on land, that threatens the sanctity of the oceans through what are deemed excessive greenhouse gas emissions would be subject to international approval similar to the “global test” then-Sen. Kerry said all our actions should be subject to.
That would include the Keystone XL pipeline environmentalists object to.
Unfortunately many who should know better, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to past and present naval leaders, have embraced LOST.
Far from guaranteeing access to ocean resources, LOST regulates and taxes that access.
Our Navy would be reduced from going where it wants, to asking an international body for permission.
LOST establishes an International Seabed Authority (ISA) that would have the power to regulate 70% of the earth’s surface, placing seabed mining, fishing rights, deep-sea oil exploration, and even the activities of the U.S. Navy under control of a global bureaucracy.
It even provides for a global tax that would be paid directly to the ISA by companies seeking to develop the resources in and under the world’s oceans. It would redistribute the fruits of our ocean labors to landlocked and thuggish regimes around the globe.
“One of the more nefarious and insidious of its provisions is Article 82, which requires the United States to forfeit royalties generated from oil and gas development on the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles — an area known as the ‘extended continental shelf,'” notes the Heritage Foundation’s Mike Brownfield in a recent analysis.
LOST “uses the failed socialist economic theory to govern the ocean floors, it has proven unable to resolve disputes, it subsidizes dangerous regimes, it does not establish meaningful property rights and thus fails to provide certainty for developers, and because it requires technology transfers, it suppresses research and development,” according to Iain Murray of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
LOST establishes a tribunal to police the treaty, an international court environmentalists could use to force the deindustrialization of the U.S., the world’s second-largest carbon emitter after **
China, which will be exempt since it is deemed a “developing” country.
LOST was rejected by President Ronald Reagan over concerns** that it would cede U.S. sovereignty to the ISA.
Reagan was right. It should be rejected again.