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Last month, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 in favor of US ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention. Next, the matter goes to the full Senate for approval. The convention lays out a comprehensive international framework to govern the world’s ungoverned spaces: the deep and vast oceans. This is a critical opportunity which must not be missed, especially from the viewpoint of future potential oil and natural gas supply in America, and globally.
The United States has taken a long and winding road to this moment of decision. The Law of the Sea Convention was negotiated for decades and agreed to in 1982. President Reagan directed the country to follow the Convention, with the exception of some rules on mining. After these rules were amended to meet US demands, President Clinton agreed to sign the Convention, but it stalled in the Senate due largely to the opposition of Senator Jesse Helms...
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