No ‘Backdoor Kyoto Protocol’: Conservatives Torpedo the Law of the Sea Treaty
The infamous Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), an international agreement that would see the U.S. collaborating with foreign nations in regards to to natural resources, won’t be approved this year.
If ratified, LOST would see states implementing “applicable international rules and standards established through competent international organizations or diplomatic conference to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources.”
Meaning, according to Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) office, the U.S. would have to follow the treaty’s standards on air pollution and carbon emissions.
Nevertheless, and despite the fact that this was supposed to be the year that the age-old pact finally passed, as The Heritage Foundation’s Rob Bluey notes, 34 conservatives senators under the leadership of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) have rallied together to block it.
“[Four] additional senators have joined in opposition to LOST, including Mike Johanns (R-NE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA),” Sen. Jim DeMint, who has led the charge against the pact, proudly announced on his website. “With 34 senators against the misguided treaty, LOST will not be ratified by the Senate this year.”
Indeed, with 34 opposing senators, it is now impossible for the pact to get the 67 votes necessary for ratification.
The senators who joined DeMint in his opposition include:
1.Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
2.Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
3.Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
4.Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
5.Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
6.Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
7.Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
8.Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC)
9.Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
10. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
11. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
12. Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID)
13. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
14. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
15. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
16. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
17. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
18. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
19. Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
20. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
21. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
22. Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)
23. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)
24. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
25. Sen. Mark Rubio (R-FL)
26. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
27. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
28. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
29. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
30. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
31. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
32. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
33. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
34. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Here is the full text of the letter Sen. DeMint sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):
Dear Mr. Leader,
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.
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.
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.
The above was signed by 31 of the 34 senators. Sen. Isakson announced his opposition independently and Sens. Portman and Ayotte said in a separate letter to Sen. Reid that they don’t believe the treaty is in the U.S.’ best interests.
“Proponents of the Law of the Sea Treaty aspire to admirable goals, including codifying the U.S. Navy’s navigational rights and defining American economic interests in valuable offshore resources,” the senators wrote.
“But the treaty’s terms reach well beyond those good intentions,” they added.
These are the 13 Republicans who didn’t see it necessary to sign on against LOST:
1.Thad Cochran (R-MI)
2.Susan Collins (R-ME)
3.Scott Brown (R-MA)
4.Mark Kirk (R-IL)
5.Dick Luger (R-IN)
6.Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
7.Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
8.John McCain (R-AZ)
9.Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
10.Bob Corker (R-TN)
11.Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
12.Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
13.Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Kerry’s office argues headcounts taken months in advance of a proposed vote are “just a snapshot of where our politics are in this instant.”
“No letter or whip count changes the fact that rock-ribbed Republican businesses and the military and every living Republican secretary of state say that this needs to happen, and that’s why it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ for the Law of the Sea,” said Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth.
In fact, according to the Sen. Kerry’s office, he purposely held off voting on the treaty until after the November elections because “right now we’re in the middle of a white-hot political campaign season where ideology is running in overdrive.”
“That’s why Sen. Kerry made it clear from Day One that there wouldn’t be a vote before the election and until everyone’s had the chance to evaluate the treaty on the facts and the merits away from the politics of the moment,” Seth said.
(H/T: Hot Air)
This story has been updated.
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