Senator Inhofe (R-OK), speaking from the Senate floor introduced into the record 35 Senators who will vote against the Law of the Sea Treaty, should it come before the Senate this year. That’s the bottom line. Since my last article, Senators Portman and Ayotte have joined those objecting. To date, I don’t think Mitt Romney has stated a position, but for now the whole thing is over, according to Inhofe. Don’t miss exactly what giving up U.S. Royalties means to taxpayers.Â See the video below along with a partial transcript:
Very close to the end of the video, Inhofe says this:
I am submitting for the record a letter that is signed by 31 members of the United States Senate stating that they will object to and vote against any ratification effort that will take place this year. This doesn’t really restrict it to this year – that would be 31 of them, and I have as a separate letter signed by Senators Portman and Ayotte stating essentially the same thing, and a statement on the website of Senator Isakson, and I was given permission to speak of a position on behalf of Senator Lamar Alexander, that while he hasn’t taken a position on the Law of the Sea Treaty, he does object to having it brought up this year – so we have 35 members of the United States Senate that have stated that they want to object if it is brought up in the Senate this year.
This is something that isn’t going to happen this year. If they want to bring it up, certainly it is up to the Leader – but if it does come up it is going to take an awful lot of time from other business that this body is supposed to be addressing….
There are 35 members and many more I might suggest that would vote against it…
The following loose transcript of Senator Inhofe’s remarks begins at about 3 minutes in and ends at about 9 minutes in, of the 12:46 video.
Why, if it is brought up, it cannot be ratified this year or in a lame duck session.
First of all, when I talk to someone about the problems with this, I tell them that this would cede authority to the United Nations over 70% of the surface of the earth, along with the air above it.
I remember one time a witness came and during the Bush administration and was supporting the Treaty, and I asked the question: now if you have 70% of the surface area, does that mean you also have 70% of the air above it, and they couldn’t answer that question. Now it’s pretty well understood that that would be the case.
We would be submitting our sovereignty, surrendering it, to the United Nations.
For the first time in the history of this country we would authorize the United Nations to have taxing authority over America. People go ballistic. That’s something that’s not conceivable that we would be considering.
Then when we talk about the lawsuits we could be facing – I’ll be a little bit more specific on this. The area of controversy in terms of their ability to tax or otherwise get royalties from the United States, that would otherwise go to the United States, and put those into the United Nations is an area called the extended Continental Shelf. That would be excess of 200 nautical miles off shore. Nothing within this Treaty is going to effect that is within the 200 nautical miles, but outside, it would be.
As it is right now, it’s important to understand how the royalties are paid at the present time. Royalties usually are – those collected by the U.S. from the Continental Shelf, amount to between 12.5% and 18.75%.
The reason there is a disparity between those is because the royalties go along with how much money can be made if things go well – how deep it is, how far out it is, how expensive it is to drill, and all of that.
Under the Article, if we should pass the Law of the Sea Treaty, under Article 82, at the end of the 12th year, give 7% royalties, take them away from the United States, that’s roughly half of the royalties we would have and give them to the International Seabed Authority to redistribute those in accordance with whatever they want to do – and this would all take place in Kingston, Jamaica, of all places. They would make this redistribution of wealth, giving the United Nations what they have always desired, the redistribution of wealth.
The amounts that would fall into the royalties that would fall into the extended Continental Shelf – it’s hard to say exactly what they would be, but there is a group that was appointed to try to approximate these things and they have said it would be in the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS, or even in the TRILLIONS.
For each TRILLION that would be in production – equals about $70 BILLION that would be taken out of the U.S. Treasury and put into the United Nations and sent to the Seabed Authority to be redistributed around the world in accordance with whatever criteria they have.
It’s a huge, huge amount and it is very, very significant, and it is specific that we would lose up to 7% after the 12th year.
We’re trying to come up with $1 TRILLION in the next 10 years – all of a sudden you have an amount that comes close to equalling that through the lose of our royalties.
The lawsuits: this is a significant thing. Under the Law of the Sea Treaty, any country could sue the United States in International Tribunal, not in the U.S. courts but in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.
In other words, we can be subjected to lawsuits from other countries, and already, a number of Pacific Island nations intend to sue the U.S. for environmental damage to their seas and air, if the U.S. joins the Treaty. We would be voluntarily giving up – allowing others to sue the U.S. on what they allege to be damages.
End that portion of Inhofe’s remarks.
At about 10 minutes in:
A law professor that is very well known stated that the U.S. rejection of the Kyoto Protocol makes the U.S. the most logical, first country target of a global warming lawsuit in an international forum.
Senator Jim Inhofe: Law of the Sea Treaty Defeated for Now (video)