American Legislative Exchange Council
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last Wednesday, October 31, The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 to send the U.N.’s Law of the Sea treaty (L.O.S.T.) to the full Senate for consideration. This treaty, which has been waiting 37 years for ratification, requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
The treaty, which was originally rejected by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, has been revived with the support of the Bush Administration. The treaty threatens our nation’s sovereignty by allowing the United Nations (UN) to regulate sea and land pollution and enact global taxes.
Environmental protection provisions in L.O.S.T. will impact all states. Unbelievably, the treaty allows the UN to regulate pollution from “land-based sources.” This will have a direct impact on all states. According to Tennessee Rep. Susan Lynn, Chair of ALEC’s Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force, “The people of my state expect lawmakers, not unelected bureaucrats at the UN to make environmental and tax policy.”
Aside from regulating our environmental polices, L.O.S.T. empowers the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to impose taxes on American companies. Natural gas and oil companies, which export minerals more than 200 miles off shore, will be forced to pay seven percent of their profits to the I.S.A. Lynn added that “This treaty is a terrible idea that would give the United Nations control over seven-tenths of the world’s surface. We must be cautious because he who rules the sea will rule the land."
Furthermore, the UN body that will administer L.O.S.T. only gives the U.S. one vote and no veto authority. This will, in effect, allow an international body to impose environmental regulations and tax policy on our citizens without even the support of our representative at the UN—let alone voters.