LOST at sea

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), a controversial United Nations scheme to gain power and extract money from the U.S. is again being considered by the U.S. Senate.  The U.S. would be responsible for 25% of the budget. This treaty has been around since 1982 but never ratified by the Senate.

According to the Heritage Foundation, “The rationale for LOST is that it supposedly brings order to the world’s oceans, defines the rights and responsibilities of nations as they navigate and conduct business across the seas, protects the marine environment, and allows for the development of natural resources of the deep seabed. On the surface, these all sound like worthwhile goals. The thing is, the United States doesn’t need to join another United Nations treaty to make it happen.”

 Although that may sound benign, there are some very undesirable provisions within the Treaty.  For instance, the Treaty requires the U.S. to forfeit royalties from oil and gas production on the extended continental shelf outside the 200 mile limit.  The Treaty would also require private companies to pay hefty fees and royalties to the U.N.  This could amount to billions, even trillions of dollars which would go to a new U.N. agency, the International Seabed Authority based in Jamaica.  After the money passes through the sticky fingers of the U.N. bureaucracy, it would be redistributed to “developing states.”  The U.N. could extend its authority to within 12 miles of the coast.

 As the Heritage Foundation explains:

 LOST directs that the revenue be distributed to “developing States” (such as Somalia, Burma … you get the picture) and “peoples who have not attained full independence” (such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization … hey, don’t they sponsor terrorism?). The assembly – the “supreme organ” of the International Seabed Authority in which the United States has a single vote to cast – has the final say regarding the distribution of America’s transmogrified “international” royalties.

The assembly may vote to distribute royalties to undemocratic, despotic or brutal governments in Belarus, China or Zimbabwe – all members of LOST. Perhaps those dollars will go to regimes that are merely corrupt; 13 of the world’s 20 most corrupt nations, according to Transparency International, are parties to LOST. Even Cuba and Sudan, both considered state sponsors of terrorism, could receive dollars fresh from the U.S. Treasury.

 Another negative consequence of the Treaty is that it exposes U.S. industry to baseless international environmental lawsuits (see here).

 LOST has security implications.  According to Investor’s Business Daily, “Communist China, a LOST signatory, contends the treaty bans the Proliferation Security Initiative under which we can stop and search ships on the high seas suspected of transporting WMDs on behalf of or for use by terrorists.”

 LOST would give the  International Seabed Authority 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.

The Obama administration’s renewed push for this treaty is another effort to “redistribute the wealth” and would make America less secure.  Don’t get LOST in the rhetoric, this treaty is a bad deal for  America.

Addendum: To show the perfidiousness of the UN, we have this announcement: Zimbabwean president (and dictator) Robert Mugabe, who has been accused of ethnic cleansing, has been named the UN international envoy for tourism even thought he is under UN sanctions that include a travel ban.