One would have thought that the Bloomberg News report by Joe Carroll that "The Arctic may hold 90 billion barrels of oil, more than all the known reserves of Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Mexico combined, and enough to supply U.S. demand for 12 years" would have evoked some interest by the public and other media outlets. The report by the U.S. Geological Survey was greeted mostly by a giant collective yawn.
"One third of the undiscovered oil is in Alaskan territory, the agency found..."Â Considering that the Democrat-controlled Congress adamantly refuses to let exploration and drilling occur for the oil known to exist in and off-shore Alaska, it is perhaps not surprising that the public has concluded that it will remain beneath the hoofs of caribou.
Apathy, however, is not a very good response to the prospect of this mother lode of potential new oil. Worse yet, we stand lose any of the wealth it will generate if the same Congress signs the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty, whose acronym, LOST, could not be more accurate. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have endorsed it, apparently oblivious to the fact that the mighty U.S. Navy can go anywhere it wants in the world. Even the Bush administration has marshaled no arguments against it.
This monstrosity of a treaty has been around since the days when the Reagan administration first rejected it.
Full disclosure of the contents of this treaty would have Americans in the streets of Washington, D.C. brandishing pitchforks. Bernard Oxman a professor at my alma mater, the University of Miami, describes its text as "amply endowed with indeterminate principles, mind-numbing cross-references, institutional redundancies, exasperating opacity, and inelegant drafting." In other words, it is a document intended to steal the wealth to which the United States has a legitimate claim.
Douglas Stone, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, warns that, "LOST fostered the idea, per se, of international organizations with increasing transnational jurisdiction. Its bureaucracy will be nourished by royalties on mineral extraction and provide a model for similar agencies to assume authority and impose taxes and to inexorably devour American institutions and autonomy."
Can you imagine gifting the United Nations with $50 trillion in Arctic oil taxes? That is what the U.S. Senate proposes to do if it ratifies LOST.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr., president of the Center, reminds us that, "If Americans have learned anything about the United Nations over the last 50 years, it is that this 'world body' is, at best, riddled with corruption and incompetence. At worst, its bureaucracies, agencies and members are overwhelmingly hostile to the United States and other freedom-loving nations..."
The United Nations International Seabed Authority (ISA) for more than a decade has never produced a single commercial minerals harvesting operation despite having unfettered access to all the world's great oceans resources.
The United States, however, needs oil now. In addition to Congress having put vast reserves in Alaska's ANWR off-limits, it has done the same for exploration and drilling in 85% of the nation's continental shelf. The windfall profits tax imposed during the Carter administration led to a huge decline in oil industry activity in the United States, even after it was repealed.
The solution to America's present oil crisis lies in part in the Arctic Commons and, in particular, the Amerasia-Canada basin that holds the promise of huge oil reserves for centuries to come.
A dangerous scramble for the oil and gas reserves between Russia and the West can be avoided and, more to the point, the U.S. will lose its entire future commercial and energy security by signing onto LOST. Meanwhile, Democrat leaders in both houses of Congress have already rejected President Bush's July 14 effort to end a 25-year moratorium on drilling in most coastal waters.
The Democrat controlled Congress are either insane, treasonous, or both. Their presumptive candidate for President wants to repeat Carter's appalling windfall profits tax on oil companies.
As the Bloomberg News report noted, "The region above the Arctic Circle also holds an estimated 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, equal to 27 percent of the world's known gas reserves, according to the U.S. Geological Survey report. "Contributors to the data included the Geological Survey of Canada, the U.S. Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the Cambridge Arctic Shelf Program, and researchers in Denmark and Greenland. No Russian institutions took part in the study."
At a time when nationalized foreign oil companies control more than 70% of the world's energy resources, private enterprise is the only answer to our national energy security. The largest transfer of wealth in history is occurring and it bodes ill for the United States. We dare not compound this travesty by failing to take steps to ensure access to the Arctic Commons vast reserves.