Opponents of the long-stalled Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) received some welcome news on Monday when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) office informed The Examiner that the Senator will vote no on the treaty.
Sen. McConnell's clear opposition to this dangerously flawed treaty is understandable; after all, LOST would:
- Establish an unaccountable U.N.-style bureaucracy (The International Seabed Authority) that would redistribute U.S. oil and gas royalties to developing nations, including corrupt regimes and state sponsors of terrorism.
- Require the U.S. enter mandatory dispute resolution for any claim brought against it by other treaty members. This would open the U.S. up to any number of specious allegations brought by opportunistic nations, including allegations of environmental degradation or polluting the ocean environment with carbon emissions or even from land-based sources.
- Forbid mining without permission from the International Seabed Authority, and would also encourage technology transfers from advanced mining companies in order to support the mining activities by developing states, discouraging U.S. participation.
Additionally, LOST is not needed for navigation rights. General Martin E. Dempsey, USA, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said "based on our current application of customary international law, we will, of course, assert our sovereignty and our ability to navigate" and "our ability to project force will not deteriorate." In other words, America's freedom on the seas is not at risk. Ratifying this treaty, with all the counterproductive and negative side effects it entails, is not worth it to establish unnecessary "rights" which already exist.
Senator McConnell should be commended for standing up for America's sovereignty. And now that he and the entire Senate Republican leadership team are united in their opposition, other Republican Senators should follow suit and express their opposition to this dangerous and unnecessary treaty.
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