What's green and blue and grabby all over? President Obama's new pressure campaign for Congress to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).
The fight over LOST goes back three decades, when it was first rejected by President Ronald Reagan. He warned that "no national interest of the United States could justify handing sovereign control of two-thirds of the Earth's surface over to the Third World." According to top Reagan officials William Clark and Ed Meese, their boss believed the "central, and abiding, defect" was "its effort to promote global government at the expense of sovereign nation states -- and most especially the United States."
The persistent transnationalists who drafted LOST favor creation of a massive United Nations bureaucracy that would draw ocean boundaries, impose environmental regulations and restrict business on the high seas. They've tinkered with the document obsessively since the late '60s, enlisted Presidents Clinton and Bush, and recruited soon-to-depart GOP Sen. Dick Lugar to their crusade. Ignore the mushy save-the-planet rhetoric. Here's the bottom line: Crucial national security decisions about our naval and drilling operations would be subject to the vote of 162 other signatories, including Cuba, China and Russia.
While our sovereignty would be redistributed around the world, most of the funding for the massive LOST regulatory body would come from -- you guessed it! -- the United States. Forbes columnist Larry Bell reports that "as much as 7 percent of U.S. government revenue that is collected from oil and gas companies operating off our coast" would be meted out to "poorer, landlocked countries." This confiscatory act of environmental justice would siphon billions, if not trillions, away from Americans. International royalties would be imposed; an international tribunal would be set up to mediate disputes. There would be no opportunity for court appeals in the U.S.
LOST is just the latest waterlogged power grab by the Obama administration. As I reported in 2010, the White House through executive order seized unprecedented control from states and localities over "conservation, economic activity, user conflict and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes." Obama created a 27-member "National Ocean Council" by administrative fiat that is specifically tasked with implementing ocean management plans "in accordance with customary international law, including as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention."