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Author Topic: So Where is the Outrage over Law of the Sea Treaty  (Read 7527 times)
De Selby
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« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2007, 10:51:03 AM »

Quote
Of particular interest to me is the debate over whether or not LOST can regulate source of pollution on land that end up in the seas.  Seems administration officials are not clear on whether or not LOST actually allows LOST to do so.  My question is why the question.  Does the treaty allow a UN organization to regulate US environmental standards?  Why are we considering the ratification of a treaty when government officials are not sure of the provisions.  He is the passage in question

You might be interested in this brookings institution debate-it settles the queston pretty clearly regarding authority to police pollution:http://www.brookings.edu/events/2004/0504energy.aspx
(Use "read the full event") to see all the debate
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Matthew Carberry
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« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2007, 11:59:52 AM »

What I got from reading the debate is that most of it we already do without needing this treaty and that the Navy will continue to do whatever our government feels is necessary regardless of the treaty.

Therefore, what's the benefit?

The only argument that stands is the industry comment about "wanting certainty", but that is, at root, hogwash.  They do business all the time in uncertain nations.  If it will make them money to drill off-shore they'll do it. 

With our Navy and Air Force our jurisdiction ends where we say it does and no closer, as it always has.

I'm not sure why countries that can't even control or utilize their own littorals should get any say in offshore activity by developed nations.
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De Selby
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2007, 12:07:40 PM »

The main benefit is title-with the treaty, you have a legal basis for asserting claims on the deep sea bed in any of the signatory countries. Without it, what are you going to assert in any court where you want to assert, say, ownership of a piece of the dig? Or how do you sell interests in a mining site to investors with no legal basis for the investors to assert ownership?

While sending a ship will constitute physical control of an area, how, for example, would you deal with two foreign investors in the project who want something that they can take to court in exchange for the money they gave? 

It gives legal remedies in all signatory states, so that for all those problems that physical control does not address, interested parties will have a remedy and a dispute resolution process.
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Matthew Carberry
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2007, 12:12:48 PM »

Title can only be granted by a legitimate existing owner.  That far offshore it is essentially unowned land.  Whoever gets there first and does the work gets title by right of possession and ability to keep it.

The sovereignty issue problem is that we are locking up all that unowned land by granting ownership to an "international body" that is more accurately described as "a bunch of hostile states".

The main benefit is title-with the treaty, you have a legal basis for asserting claims on the deep sea bed in any of the signatory countries. Without it, what are you going to assert in any court where you want to assert, say, ownership of a piece of the dig? Or how do you sell interests in a mining site to investors with no legal basis for the investors to assert ownership?

While sending a ship will constitute physical control of an area, how, for example, would you deal with two foreign investors in the project who want something that they can take to court in exchange for the money they gave? 

It gives legal remedies in all signatory states, so that for all those problems that physical control does not address, interested parties will have a remedy and a dispute resolution process.

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Art Eatman
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2007, 12:56:20 PM »

"So that American companies can be guaranteed access to a particular plot..."

And why should there be any such guarantee?  And as said before, if there's a UN program in place and there's a problem, it's the US that will bear the financial cost of any law-enforcement solution of whatever sort.

As far as the pollution thing, the US is bad, right now, for farm chemicals (the "dead zone" across the mouth of the Mississippi River; too-low a BOD).  As far as toxic chemicals, it's Russia and China.

We're already in the process of trying to reduce agricultural runoffs.  But who's gonna make demands of Russia and China?  The UN?  Duh?

This all got started way back, when the technology was first developed to harvest manganese nodules from the floor of the seabed.  I disremember; 7,000 feet of water.  It was U.S. private sector's R&D which made it possible.  Then came the LOST folks, trying to cut in on the profits.

Cherchez le moolah.  Always cherchez le moolah.  Les $$$$$.  If it's US company profits, everybody wants in on the action--even Hillary.

We're the ones who developed the technology for oil drilling in the North Sea; granted rigs were then designed and built in Europe, but we started it.  Now Chevron et al are drilling in water as deep as 7,000 feet.  A billion bucks per platform.

One way or another, the UN, with LOST in place, is gonna want a cut of the action.

Cherchez le moolah.

Scroom.

art
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De Selby
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2007, 01:21:56 PM »

Focusing on physical control is problematic here, because it ignores the important financing and financial remedy concerns that any corporation doing the drilling will have.

Quote
Title can only be granted by a legitimate existing owner.  That far offshore it is essentially unowned land.  Whoever gets there first and does the work gets title by right of possession and ability to keep it.

The problem is that no US court, nor foreign court where important investors and partners and parties against whom a remedy for interference might be sought, will recognize this as a basis for asserting title.  Similar claims only survived when a sovereign occupied terra nullius, but that legal principle is long dead in the post-WWII environment.

Quote
And why should there be any such guarantee?  And as said before, if there's a UN program in place and there's a problem, it's the US that will bear the financial cost of any law-enforcement solution of whatever sort.

This is actually quite the opposite of what happens in an international regime-the other parties courts have to hear these cases as well.  So if there are parties over which a US court can't assert jurisdiction, or assets in a foreign country that should be seized to pay judgments, it's possible to do it as long as the treaty is law in those other jurisdictions.  If there is no such law, you are out of luck.

Quote
This all got started way back, when the technology was first developed to harvest manganese nodules from the floor of the seabed.  I disremember; 7,000 feet of water.  It was U.S. private sector's R&D which made it possible.  Then came the LOST folks, trying to cut in on the profits.

One powerful argument in support of how the LOST is good for American business is the uniform support for the treaty on the part of Industry associations.


The Law of the Sea Treaty doesn't give the UN anything; it's a treaty that has to be enacted into domestic law in order to be effective, and it creates a separate regulatory body for the international seabed.  It's actually a pretty textbook example of an international business agreement, not much different from the Carriage of Goods by Sea or International Arbitration treaties.
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LAK
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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2007, 11:05:34 PM »

The agenda for controlling the seas will include lots of envirotrash (read: red tape, extra admin, regulation, penalties etc) and ensuring "free trade" (read: controlled trade whereby any country that doesn't join the club will be excluded from trading or chastized).
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Waitone
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« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2007, 11:05:48 PM »

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It's actually a pretty textbook example of an international business agreement, not much different from the Carriage of Goods by Sea or International Arbitration treaties.
Which brings up the point:  why is the UN essential to the regulation of seabed mining (assuming that is what the treaty is all about).  We've got a number of international agreements in place which normalize and regulate international trade amongst a group of interested parties.  How come the UN is necessary to successful implementation?
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roo_ster
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« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2007, 01:24:31 AM »

It is not.
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Matthew Carberry
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« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2007, 05:04:50 AM »

Heavens, you can't mean that since only a few nations have companies that can realistically engage in such mining in the short or long term they could just as easily enter a series of negotiated agreements?

Say, I don't know, the G8?
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HankB
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« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2007, 07:36:46 AM »

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One powerful argument in support of how the LOST is good for American business is the uniform support for the treaty on the part of Industry associations.
Do you mean the industry associations that see no problem with outsourcing jobs to India, Red China, and other places with cheap coolie labor? The same industry associations that supported Bush's shamnesty program, since illegal aliens provide cheap labor? The same industry associations for whom "long term" planning means the end of the next quarter?

I see no reason to enter into a treaty covering things like seabed mining with a bunch of backward, turd world dungheaps . . . if and when they can bring something of value to the table, maybe we can reach some private agreements, but until then, why should hostile places like Berzerkistan,* Lower Slobovia,* or Elbonia* have ANY say in how we do things like mine the seabeds, far, FAR away from the borders of any sovereign nation?


* Extra points if you can identify these . . .  grin
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De Selby
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2007, 11:45:41 AM »

Another clarification folks-this treaty is not a UN regulated treaty, nor does it empower the UN to regulate the seas.  It was negotiated mostly between the industrial states at a convention called under the auspices of the UN, but it is not "UN law" or anything similar.  It's a pact that binds only those who enact it into their own laws, not a pact for the UN membership.
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2007, 03:27:26 PM »

Cherchez le moolah.

Scroom. 


Rabbi, is that you?  shocked
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