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Lose LOST

| Sunday, March 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Thankfully, national sovereignty concerns have kept the U.S. Senate from ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, aka LOST. But there also are economic and environmental reasons for the Senate to stand fast.

Drafted between 1973 and 1982 and declaring oceans and seabeds mankind's common heritage, LOST had the Soviet Union among its biggest backers, according to Iain Murray of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He says ratification would subject America to a collectivist economic regime.

U.S. sea mining would be controlled by an international authority. Charging ever-larger fees without honoring property rights, it inefficiently allocates resources via winner-picking central planning. It empowers a few untrustworthy nations, inviting corruption — and can even “internationalize” industries.

Because the Constitution gives international treaties the force of law and U.S. citizens can sue to ensure their government obeys laws, U.S. ratification would be particularly perilous environmentally. With LOST giving credence to extremist pseudoscience, Mr. Murray warns, “endless pressure from the international environmental movement” could lead to “the end of fossil fuels in the United States.”

LOST “would reduce the United States to one voice at a noisy dinner table — a voice that could find itself at best paying for the entire meal, and at worst find itself on the menu,” Murray writes.

It's an invitation the Senate must continue to decline.

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