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Thu May 24, 2012, 01:25 AM

Law of the Sea Treaty Is Found on Capitol Hill, Again

Source: NY Times

Senator Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican, joked that he was witnessing “sort of a Lazarus moment.” On that score, at least, Mr. Corker got no quarrel from his Democratic colleagues.

Thirty years after it was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the United Nations treaty that governs the world’s oceans is undergoing one of its periodic resurrections in Congress. A Senate committee on Wednesday summoned three top national security officials to make yet another plea for the agreement, in the face of narrow, but stubborn, opposition.

The Senate has never ratified the treaty, despite the support of Republican and Democratic presidents, the Pentagon, environmental advocates, the oil and gas industry — virtually anyone who deals “with oceans on a daily basis,” in the words of Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the Republican who recently lost a primary, who is a supporter.

So long has the “Law of the Sea” treaty been stalled on Capitol Hill that its opponents — a handful of conservative Republicans who view it as an infringement on American sovereignty — have taken to calling it “LOST, ” an uncharitable, if apt, acronym.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/world/americas/law-of-the-sea-treaty-is-found-on-capitol-hill-again.html

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Reply Law of the Sea Treaty Is Found on Capitol Hill, Again (Original post)
alp227 May 2012 OP
msongs May 2012 #1
kristopher May 2012 #2
stockholmer May 2012 #5
pampango May 2012 #7
grantcart May 2012 #8
pampango May 2012 #3
kristopher May 2012 #4
One_Life_To_Give May 2012 #6

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 03:15 AM

1. most of these so called treaties are infringements on our sovereignty in the name of corporations nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Thu May 24, 2012, 04:08 AM

2. This isn't.

It is a much needed set of rules that gives a basis for governing an area that is outside the jurisdiction of any nation. The fact is that we are bound by it no matter whether we ratify it or not - we do not own the world's oceans.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Thu May 24, 2012, 11:10 AM

5. +10000


It is all about so-called left wing versus so-called right wing gambits, as the banksters sit back and laugh at 'the little people'. I am vehemently opposed to the US military empire, and its petrol-dollar linkage, but schemes like this treaty simply strip away all countries' rights at some level or another, and end up taking billions upon billions of dollars and shoveling them into the pockets and/or control of the international banker-run matrix. It is the 'bleeding-out' of masses by the money-changers, all wrapped up in a shiny veneer of feel-good, one-world order governance, with a false facade of 'public' institutions designed and controlled by private entities.

Trent Lott supports L.O.S.T., that is a warning bell right there.


Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told The Daily Caller on Monday that he isn’t a hypocrite for lobbying in favor of a treaty he emphatically denounced as recently as 2007. Lott said that he no longer believes the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty — would “cede our national sovereignty, both militarily and economically,” as he said five years ago when the issue was last brought before the Senate.

The treaty would grant the United Nations unprecedented taxing authority over American companies by transferring permitting and royalty payments currently made to the U.S. government for offshore drilling to the International Seabed Authority, a U.N.-created agency that would have the power to redistribute billions of dollars to other countries.

It would also commit the United States to accept international arbitration of maritime disputes. For three decades, the United States has declined to sign on. “Over time, circumstances change,” Lott told TheDC. “The world has changed from an economic and military standpoint. … Some people say ‘we have the biggest, baddest navy fleet in the world, we’ll go and do what we want to,’ [but] we ought to be careful about how we think about that.”

Lott founded the Breaux Lott Leadership Group with former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux in 2008. Last month The Heritage Foundation reported that Lott’s firm collected $80,000 in fees the first quarter of 2012 from the Shell Oil Company, to lobby on issues including support for the treaty’s ratification. Pike Associates also paid Lott’s firm $30,000 to support the treaty, according to disclosure forms.


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Response to stockholmer (Reply #5)

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:56 PM

7. Trent Lott supports this, but republicans in congress are the ones blocking it.

And it is the administration and Democrats who are trying to get it passed.

Libertarians seem to agree with the fear that the UN is trying to impose "one-world order governance" (they use "one-world government" or "global governance" sometimes) on national sovereignty.

"Opponents of the treaty, who have prevented it from coming up for a vote before the full Senate, argue that the pact would erode U.S. sovereignty and shackle U.S. operations on the world’s oceans. Last week, the House passed an amendment to a defense spending bill that would block U.S. funding for implementation, creating a possible showdown later with the Senate.

The Heritage Foundation and other conservative organizations have lined up to oppose the bill. Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, opposes the treaty as a threat to U.S. sovereignty and security."


"The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) is a UN global governance treaty, a sovereignty-slashing horror and it puts 70% of the earth under UN control and taxing authority. It's been around since 1982. Reagan opposed ratifying it. Bush 41 couldn't get it ratified and neither could Clinton or Bush 43, though they tried. Now it's back."


"...alas, like anything involving the UN, it's another shakedown of the United States (and developed coastal states in general). We've been lucky so far in that it has never been ratified but it looks like Obama and the treaty's main champion, are going to have another try (Kerry is going to hold hearings promoting the treaty on May 23rd). Why is it so bad?

"American money would be stolen by a UN sanctioned international body and given to other members of the ISA based on 'interests and need". Yup, from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

And can someone please tell me what we get out of the UN anymore? Sure, I understand what the idea of it was at one point, when it was dominated by democracies (in its very early days), but now what? It seems to mainly be a vehicle for dictators to get prestige and an international forum and for "developing" nations to try to rob the "developed" nations of the world in some grand redistribution scheme." (The usual libertarian call for the US to get out of the UN.)


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Response to pampango (Reply #7)

Thu May 24, 2012, 03:22 PM

8. +1

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 06:38 AM

3. "a handful of conservative Republicans who view it as an infringement on American sovereignty..."

"Several Republicans agree it is a clear choice: they say the treaty ought to be mothballed for good. Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, complained that under the terms of the agreement, the United States would have to transfer billions of dollars in royalties from oil and gas production on the continental shelf to an international authority, which would redistribute the money to less developed countries. (Sounds like the dreaded "socialism" that republicans throw out there - sure don't want some "international authority" controlling how oil and gas royalties are spent".)

Senator James Risch of Idaho said it would oblige the United States to adhere to international agreements to stem greenhouse gas emissions. “That’s got Kyoto written all over it,” he said, referring to the climate change treaty rejected by the United States. (Wouldn't want to admit that an international agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions is a good thing, would you Mr. Risch?

Mr. Corker, while saying he had an open mind, suggested that there was more than a bit of politics in the timing of the treaty’s reappearance. If Republicans win the Senate, Democrats would find it even harder to win approval in the next Congress. (Add the Law of the Sea Treaty to all the other things that would be more difficult to achieve if republicans win control of the Senate.)

The treaty, ratified by 162 states and the European Union, codifies rules for the use of the oceans and maritime resources. Among its provisions, it allows countries to exploit the continental shelf, in some cases extending more than 200 miles from shore." (Sounds like every other developed country - all more progressive than the US - has approved the treaty along with practically every other country with access to the ocean. Republicans want us to be "exceptional".)

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Response to pampango (Reply #3)

Thu May 24, 2012, 06:46 AM

4. It is rooted in mineral rights.

The Republicans want access to known or future discoveries of minerals to be regulated as little as possible.

Google undersea mineral mining nodules and read a couple of discussions.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 11:48 AM

6. Isn't this the one requiring a US SUb to surface when transiting some choke points?

I thought this treaty invoked the 25NM rule for territorial waters. Requiring any US Sub to surface should it be required to transit (make innocent passage) thru any straight within 25NM of a foreign country/territory? Hadn't heard that the Navy dropped it's opposition to that as it would cut off the Black Sea.

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