President Obama bypassed Congressional approval when, on July 19, 2010, he signed Executive Order 13547 – Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes . On June 12, 2009 he established the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and charged them with “developing recommendations to enhance our ability to maintain healthy, resilient, and sustainable ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes resources for the benefit of present and future generations.” This task force was comprised of 24 senior-level officials from executive departments, agencies, and offices across the Federal government and was led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
The task force finalized its report to the President on July 19, 2010. Executive Order 13547 adopted the recommendations of the task force and directed executive agencies to form the National Ocean Council, which will be comprised of the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (Nancy Sutley) and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (Dr. John P. Holdren), as co-chairs of this Council. The Council also includes the Secretaries of State, Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Administrator of the EPA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (Administrator of NOAA), the Administrator of NASA, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the National Science Foundation, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Security Advisor and the Assistants to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Domestic Policy, Energy and Climate Change, and Economic Policy; and basically anyone else the Co-Chairs of the Council may choose to designate.
In an article by Henry Lamb posted on World News Daily on July 31, 2010 entitled Obama’s Latest Assault on Liberty he states “President Obama’s Executive Order 13547, issued July 19, further extends federal power, embraces global governance, diminishes the rights and privileges of individuals and brings the United States into compliance with Agenda 21, Chapter 17.6, which states:
“Each coastal State should consider establishing, or where necessary strengthening, appropriate coordinating mechanisms (such as a high-level policy planning body) for integrated management and sustainable development of coastal and marine areas. …”
This executive order also intends to pursue the United States’ accession to the Law of the Sea Convention, or Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).
Dr. Lamb goes on to say “This treaty would give the U.N. power to regulate activity within our territorial seas (Article 2, (3)); it would give the U.N. the power to levy taxes in the form of application fees ($250,000) and royalties; it provides no benefits that the United States does not already enjoy. Yet, the Obama administration has set up this new National Ocean Council to convince the Senate to ratify the treaty.”
A brief history of the treaty: In 1978 Ronald Reagan declared, “No national interest of the United States can justify handing sovereign control of two-thirds of the Earth’s surface over to the Third World.” In 1982 Ronald Reagan refused to sign the Law of the Sea Treaty or send it to the Senate.
In 2004 President George W. Bush signed the treaty, which essentially would give the International Seabed Authority all of the rights over the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans and all of the oil and mineral resources they contain. The International Seabed Authority, created by The Law of the Sea Convention, consists of 155 (now 166) nations, wherein the United States would have only one vote and no veto. Of course, the United States would pay the principal share of the operating costs, as we do today with the United Nations, paying close to 17% of its operating costs. Fortunately the Senate did not pursue its ratification at that time.
The Heritage Foundation has done extensive research and follow-up articles on the Law of the Sea Treaty for those of you who care to delve deeper into this issue.
The Preamble to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states:
“Bearing in mind that the achievement of these goals will contribute to the realization of a just and equitable international economic order* which takes into account the interests and needs of mankind as a whole and, in particular, the special interests and needs of developing countries, whether coastal or land-locked,
Desiring by this Convention to develop the principles embodied in resolution 2749 (XXV) of 17 December 1970 in which the General Assembly of the United Nations solemnly declared inter alia that the area of the seabed and ocean floor and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, as well as its resources, are the common heritage of mankind, the exploration and exploitation of which shall be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole, irrespective of the geographical location of States,…”
*“A just and equitable international economic order?” President Obama said it in a much simpler way to Joe the Plumber: “Spread the wealth.” The United Nations primary purpose is wealth redistribution.
One hundred sixty-six (166) nations have signed on to the treaty, through August 2013. If the United States signs on to this, remember, we have only one vote, and no veto.
According to the United Nations site:
“In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171). Many countries have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.”
This executive order is already impacting the United States and its citizens on national security issues, as well as economically and environmentally. Commercial fishermen are suffering under weighty regulations and catch share quotas (kind of like cap and trade for fishing). It will continue to create an atmosphere where everything we do will be increasingly regulated and monitored by the National Ocean Council and the United Nations through the International Seabed Authority. Levies will be assessed for the right to fish, explore, drill and eventually navigate throughout our coastlines and throughout the world.
It would be interesting to know if the Obama Administration is waiting to approve off shore leases until global oversight, regulation and levies are established.
Although not ratified by the Senate, much like other United Nations treaties, our government has been making policy as if we had.