October 31, 2007

Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)

The Law of the Sea Treaty, which goes by the wonderful acronym LOST, operates under the assumption that any minerals in the ocean floor constitute the "common heritage" of all mankind -- and therefore cannot be the property of any one individual, company, or nation.

This treaty is an affront to American national sovereignty. It would give the United Nations authority over much of the world's oceans, including the power to regulate and tax deep-sea mining, and redistribute the proceeds to Third World governments. Moreover, its "hortatory language" provisions are a loaded weapon that activist trial lawyers could easily wield to force the U.S. to adopt laws that the American people's elected representatives otherwise would not.

This morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 to send the Law of the Sea Treaty to the Senate floor for ratification. The result was expected — though still disappointing — so now the real fight begins. The vote count was as follows:

Yes votes

Joseph Biden (D-Del.)
Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)
John Kerry (D-Mass.)
Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.)
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)
Robert Casey (D-Pa.)
Jim Webb (D-Va.)
Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)
Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)
Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
John Sununu (R-N.H.)
George Voinovich (R-OH)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

No votes

Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)
Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
David Vitter (R-La.)
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)

CEI Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell said:

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote in favor of ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty is disappointing, but grassroots opposition is still building against the treaty. The strong statements against LOST in recent days by Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Mike Huckabee are an indication that their campaigns have already felt this movement against the treaty. The opposition of the Senate’s Republican leadership is another good indication. If Majority Leader Harry Reid brings LOST to the floor for a vote, it is going to be a real fight.

For more on LOST, see CEI's Law of the Sea Treaty resource page.