Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will Conservatives Have a Problem With Palin's A.G. Pick?

The U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty has been a contentious battle between conservatives and the Bush Administration.

Since Palin's A.G. pick Daniel Sullivan has played a role in the Bush Administration's push to ratify the treaty, questions should be asked of him on his stance with regard to the specific issue involved with the treaty.

Having a safe, secure and reliable Arctic shipping regime is vital to the proper development of Arctic resources, especially now given the extent of Arctic ice retreat we witnessed this past summer,” Assistant Secretary of State Daniel S. Sullivan said Monday at an international conference in Anchorage. “We can have such a regime only through cooperation, not competition, among Arctic nations. Denial of passage through international waterways, even though they may be territorial waters, and burdensome transit requirements will not benefit any nation in the long run.


With the formation of the BRIC Group, a group that will control the flow of currency in geographical locations, one should move along with caution because there will be no cooperation with Arctic nations like Russia and as pointed out on this website, Russia is taking hold with its political presence in the Baltics which is considered to be an important economic tie with Sweden which has important economic ties with Norway.

And when you consider the Arctic countries are placing great importance on the Polar Bear issue, the Law of the Sea treaty could have a negative impact on oil and natural gas development offshore. And certainly, Russia will dominate this issue and the issue will not be about cooperation, but instead, it will put us further back in our quest to develop our natural resources.

9 comments:

TommyReport said...

Tom,

There's got to be a backstory (not that there's anything wrong with that).

What is Palin's aim here? Win back some "moderates" after how the Ross deal went down by putting forward a guy who will be non-controversial for the most part? Any national angle?

Any thoughts Tom?

TommyReport said...

Who "seems" non-controversial is what I meant rather that will be non-controversial.

Controversial is not necessarily a bad trait.

Tom said...

Its a wait and see. The Polar Bear issue is her line in the sand with environmentalists, but the treaty would erase that line.

CaitlynA said...

It is difficult to think that Sullivan's support for the law of the sea convention will pose any problem in the Alaskan legislature since the Alaskan House and Senate recently passed, by a substantial margin, a joint resolution endorsing US ratification. In fact, if he opposed it then there would be questions as to whether he would face problems. Of course, since Gov. Palin supports ratification of the Convention, Sullivan has no problem there either.

It seems about time that people who have opposed the Convention begin to question whether the information on which they have based their opposition is correct. Reagan approved of all the convention except for 6 items related to deep seabed mining for which fixes were negotiated during Bush 41 and Clinton administrations. The Navy and Coast Guard support it, as does American industry.

I know that support for the LOS convention has become a test, but it is well time to understand why virtually every group with a stake in the use and the protection of the oceans supports the convention. Many of the complaints about the convention are incorrect or baseless. For example, the LOS Convention facilitates oil and gas development and it has no effect on protection of polar bears.

Tom said...

To the last statement on the polar bears. It does.

"...Nations have already attempted to use the Law of the Sea Treaty's environmental provisions to affect the environmental policies of others. In 1999, Australia and New Zealand appealed to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to shut down Japan's experimental southern blue fin tuna fishing program, citing Articles 64 and 116-119. Although the Tribunal ultimately decided that it lacked jurisdiction in the case, Australia and New Zealand did gain a temporary injunction on the program.36 More recently, Ireland sought ITLOS's help in forcing the United Kingdom to abandon its planned opening of the Sellafield MOX plant, a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in northern eastern England, arguing that it would contribute to pollution of the North Sea. Although ITLOS did not rule in Ireland's favor, it ordered both Ireland and the United Kingdom to enter into consultations.37

In a great ironic twist, the Law of the Sea Treaty - supported by many in the energy sector - may give environmentalists a blunt instrument to use against the energy industry.

Article 212 of the treaty states, in part, "States shall adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from or through the atmosphere... States, acting especially through competent international organizations... shall endeavor to establish global and regional rules, standards and recommended practices and procedures to prevent, reduce and control pollution."38 This sounds like a directive to impose Kyoto Protocol-style regulations designed to reduce state emissions of greenhouse gases. These gases are emitted through the use of the very products the energy industry sells."

There are two countries that will be affected.

The U.S. via Alaska and Canada.

Russia knows that the United States Supreme Court has shifted towards recognition of international treaties.

Reagan did not support it. I would not venture to guess how he would today.

The "right of innocent passage" notes the surfacing rights of submarines. That will remain status quo.

It is well known that Gazprom has put money into the R&D of Submarine Tankers to travel under the Arctic Ice.

And contray to the argumnet that sea ice is thining, there is evidence that t is growing and Russian scinetists have stated the earth is in a cooling stage.

CaitlynA said...

You didn't explain how the LOS Convention deals with Polar Bears.

Personally, I like the idea that Russian, Chinese and Cuban submarines can only pass through our territorial sea on the surface. I don't know why anyone would want to change the international law that has been in place since 1958 to let them sneak through our territorial sea instead.

Unfortunately for your point on the Arctic ice cover, actual measurements of arctic ice show a trend line that clearly indicates that arctic ice cover is reducing. Recent and unprecedented access to the North West Passage and the Northern Sea Route also run counter to the "evidence" you referenced.

The russian energy and shipping industries have put their money into surface shipping and ice breakers. There is no indication that they are investing in submarine tankers.

I have talked with the US energy industry representatives about the LOS Convention and how it relates to their interaction with environmentalists. The are well informed about the convention, understand how it will affect them and want the US to join it. They have looked closely at the environmental provisions and understand that they are not the problem you think they are.

Article 212 is not a directive to impose draconian laws and regulations. It is a clear statement that it is up to the coastal state to pass laws and enter into agreements and that they cannot be imposed from outside. There is no way to force states to pass laws and no authority to hold them accountable if they don't.

Your two examples of the work of the ITLOS demonstrated that it keeps out of issues in which it has no authority. That is something we sought.

With regard to Reagan's view of the convention, he said in 1982 that his problems were only with the seabed mining provisions. His secretary of state, George Shultz, who had been a major opponent of the seabed mining provisions of 1982, said that Reagan would have approved the convention with the changes made by the 1994 Agreement on Implementation.

With regard to land based sources, the convention says that:

- States shall address land based pollution by passing their own laws, taking into account internationally agreed international standards

- States shall endeavor to establish global and regional rules, standards and recommended practices to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from land based sources

- States shall be responsible for enforcing their own laws and international standards applicable to them

- International dispute settlement shall apply with regard to international agreements applicable to states (meaning ratified by them).

There is no provision in the LOS Convention for international action against a state that does not pass or enforce its domestic laws.

That is what we wanted, and those provisions were approved during the Reagan Administration's 9 month review of the convention before we returned to the final negotiating session in early 1982.

Tom said...

First Gazprom has commissioned Lazurit Central Design Bureau to do R & D on submarine tankers.

Years back, General Dynamics and others spoke to Congress about the issue of building submarine tankers. And the cost benefits.

Rubin designs is also working on a "Cargo Submarine Tanker."

You will find all of the info at the link here.

http://thomasalamb.blogspot.com/2009/04/are-submarine-tankers-in-gazproms_15.html

With regard to the Arctic sea ice;

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/15/arctic-ice.html

Recent cold snap helping Arctic sea ice, scientists find

http://www.farnorthscience.com/2007/12/06/climate-news/sea-ice-finally-growing-but-slowly/

Sea ice finally growing, but slowly

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-freezes-as-arctic-air-blasts-in-from-canada-1418931.html

US freezes as Arctic air blasts in from Canada

With regard to Russian scientists claims on the earth actually cooling link below.

http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/106922-earth_ice_age-0

Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age

As for the use of the treaty on environmnetal matters, the operative use of the law is based on actual events, not on a HYPO.

Stare Decisis and the historical use of the law are a strong indicator of how laws will be used.

The U.S. Supreme Court has proven that time and again. Because we now see C02 is considered to be pollution by the USSC.

CaitlynA said...

With regard to your reference to an article in Pravda claiming we are entering a new ice age, the author of the article you cite is the same Gregory F. Fegel who also claims that:

"Al Qaeda is nothing more than a bogey man, an invented ghost to frighten children and the ignorant. Al Qaeda is the invisible and nonexistent enemy that the US government has manufactured to provide an excuse for its never-ending 'War on Terrorism', which is in reality a war of US aggression for US domination of the world and its resources. The US government commits 'false flag' attacks such as the 9/11 attacks; the Bali, Madrid, and London bombings; and the recent bombings and attacks in India as a way to create a false threat where no real threat exists, providing an excuse for the USA to step in to 'rescue' and 'protect' other nations from 'Terrorist' attacks that were actually perpetrated by the USA itself."

Do you really consider Fegel to be a reliable source of information?

Tom said...

On the issue of the Al Qeada, read the threads on this site and you would know the answer.

However, politics and science are two different topics.

Take your pick from the below links.

http://www.heartland.org/publications/environment%20climate/article/20516/Little_Ice_Age_May_Return_Soon_Russian_Scientists_Say.html

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/science/nature/news/article_1225169.php/Russian_scientists_predict_new_Ice_Age_in_50_years

The old saying on a broken clock is right twice a day comes to mind when citing Pravada...

It's the message, not the messenger that is sometimes the important piece.