By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions had already announced their opposition to the United Nation’s (UN) controversial Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). On Thursday Senators Mike Johanns (R) from Nebraska, Kelly Ayotte (R) from New Hampshire, Rob Portman (R) from Ohio, and Johnny Isakson (R) from Georgia joined Sessions , Shelby, and the other 28 Senators who have announced their opposition to LOST. This effectively blocks ratification of the unpopular treaty, because the Constitution requires that 67 Senators (two thirds) must vote in favor of a Treaty for it to be ratified into law. It effectively means that LOST will not be ratified by the Senate this year although it is supported by American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) and President Barack H. Obama (D).
In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) from Nevada, Senators Sessions, Shelby, and colleagues explained their opposition to the UN Sea Treaty:
The conservative Senators wrote, “We understand that Chairman Kerry has renewed his efforts to pursue Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We are writing to let you know that we believe this Convention reflects political, economic, and ideological assumptions which are inconsistent with American values and sovereignty.”
The Senators continued, “By its current terms, the Law of the Sea Convention encompasses economic and technology interests in the deep sea, redistribution of wealth from developed to undeveloped nations, freedom of navigation in the deep sea and exclusive economic zones which may impact maritime security, and environmental regulation over virtually all sources of pollution.”
The Senators explained, “ To effect the treaty’s broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention. Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels.”
Sen. Robert “Jim” DeMint (R) from South Carolina wrote that passing LOST would act as a backdoor Kyoto Protocol and could force us into cap and trade policies that would harm our economy and destroy jobs, and cost the U.S. trillions of dollars in international royalties to other nations including state sponsors of terror. Sen. DeMint said that former UN Ambassador John Bolton had warned that passage would embolden China, “constrain U.S. naval activities, and do nothing to resolve China’s expansive maritime territorial claims.” DeMint also warned that the treaty was supported by radical environmental groups and that President Ronald Reagan had strongly opposed the treaty as a threat to U.S. sovereignty when the U.N. first negotiated the international treaty.
Conservative author George Will said that, “Hypothetical benefits are less important than LOST’s actual derogation of U.S. sovereignty by empowering a U.N. bureaucracy — the International Seabed Authority (ISA), based in Jamaica — to give or withhold permission for mining, and to transfer perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. wealth to whatever nation it deems deserving.” Mr. Will’s recommendation was that the U.S., “Keep the money LOST would transfer to ISA, and use it to enlarge the Navy.”