What was installed to allow hundreds of billions of dollars to be stolen each year was GATEWAY MEDICAL CARE. We described this in detail---the global banking 5% pols and players create toxic conditions in our communities that require health care that would not have existed with a functioning public health system. Get them sick and they must spend more and more money to get well----CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA.
GATEWAY MEDICAL CARE IS NOW MORPHING FROM 'GETTING THEM SICK' TO SEND PROFITS TO HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS----TO 'GETTING THEM SICK' TO LET THEM DIE.
All these environmental issues discussed last week with oil drilling/fracking IS why neurological disease vectors are soaring-----VACCINES---not so much.
Create the neurological disease vectors that then need treating
'Nat Rev Neurol. 2013 May; 9(5): 277–291.
Published online 2013 Apr 23. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2013.56
Progress in gene therapy for neurological disorders
Michele Simonato, Jean Bennett, Nicholas M. Boulis, Maria G. Castro, David J. Fink, William F. Goins, Steven J. Gray, Pedro R. Lowenstein, Luk H. Vandenberghe, Thomas J. Wilson, John H. Wolfe, and Joseph C. Glorioso'
Hmmmm, we are told all cats in Baltimore are infected with FCV exposed in pet mills. This creates the condition of pet owners having to go to VET over and over and over. If regulated, those infected pets would not be sold.
99% WE THE PEOPLE own these US city health systems---take them PUBLIC to serve ALL citizens black, white, and brown and our immigrants---there is plenty of public spending due from these institutions.
Alzheimer’s Disease Soaring In Finland, Iceland, United States
Posted on December 21, 2013 by Gary Chandler
Alzheimer’s Disease Spreading Through Bodily Fluids
The deadly Alzheimer’s disease epidemic is real. It’s global. It’s unstoppable. More than 50 million people around the world are dying from the disease today. The numbers will continue to climb at a faster pace unless we identify and stop the environmental component of the disease (a contagion called a prion). Prions are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency.
“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease. He claims that all TSEs are caused by prions.
President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. According to Prusiner, TSEs all are on the same disease spectrum, which is more accurately described as prion (PREE-on) disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is at the extreme end of the spectrum. Prusiner’s science is being ignored and we are facing a public health disaster because of the negligence.
Studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them with prions in their urine, feces, blood, mucus and saliva. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems and their by-products. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators and distributors. The sewage sludge and wastewater released are spreading disease far and wide. Sewage mismanagement also is contributing to the global surge in autism.
Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain soils. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions.
“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said.
“Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment.”
“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively deactivate prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.
As the chart below illustrates, not all countries are experiencing the same prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. The North Atlantic countries of Finland, Iceland and Sweden have some of the highest rates of dementia in the world. Why?
IT IS TOXIC FOOD AND CONTAMINATED WATER from GLOBAL BIG AG AND BIG MEAT---AND GLOBAL OIL---- NOT PRIONS.
Why is Finland’s dementia rate 39 percent higher than Iceland’s? If dementia is a random or sporadic condition, there should be little or no variance in the incidence from country to country. In reality, the differences and coincidences are alarming.
The United States and other developed countries also have high incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, doctors are withholding millions of additional diagnoses in the United States, so we don’t know the extent of the epidemic in America, but the incidence likely rivals Finland.
The undeveloped countries across Asia, Africa and South America have the lowest incidence. What causes these regional variations? Could it be an unhealthy or contaminated diet in these countries? Could it be contaminated drinking water? Or is it another source of regional environmental contamination? We have our theories and we are backing them up with science and facts.
According to recent studies, Finland has the highest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world. Iceland and Sweden aren’t far behind. It could be that Finland is doing a better job of screening, diagnosing and offering honest assessments. What can we learn from these regional variations? What are the common threads that can help us unravel the causes of neurological disease?
1. Finland 34.9
2. Iceland 25.1
3. United States 24.8
4. Sweden 21.5
5. Netherlands 21.4
6. Switzerland 20.0
7. Cuba 19.6
8. Chile 19.6
9. Andorra 19.4
10. Spain 18.7
11. Norway 18.6
12. Uruguay 17.5
13. Denmark 17.4
14. United Kingdom 17.1
15. France 16.6
Although there are many causes of Alzheimer’s and related neurological diseases, the Baltic Sea region is a microcosm worth studying. The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted bodies of water on the planet. Much of the pollution originates upstream and on land, but tons of it are dumped directly in the sea.
We have our theories about the spread of the disease and why it may be higher in these regions.
Prions earned the Nobel Prize for Dr. Stanley Prusiner in 1997. In humans, we know prion disease as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In other mammals, we know it as mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease, which has now jumped the Atlantic from North America to the reindeer in Norway. Sick deer didn’t cross the ocean to infect the reindeer.
Sewage sludge dumped on land is the common denominator and Norway’s sewage is very infectious. The country has one of the highest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world. Prion disease has even been found in dolphins and it’s likely what is causing the massive die-offs and beaching of whales. It’s because of groundwater runoff from infected fields and forests.
These sick animals are canaries in the proverbial coal mine. If sewage is infecting wildlife, it’s happening to the livestock that produce our meat and dairy products. They just aren’t living long enough to exhibit the clinical symptoms and testing for mad cow disease, for example, isn’t happening in a meaningful manner. The same prion contamination is exposing every person on the planet to deadly neurological disease and other ailments. Our food and water supplies are being contaminated with infectious and toxic sewage. It’s time to outlaw this foolish practice that’s enriching corporations, such as Synagro, Lystek and others. It’s time to purge the institutional corruption within federal, state and local governments that enables this deadly practice.
The largest prion pathway in the world is human sewage and the dumping of it on farms, ranches, forests, playgrounds, golf courses, parks, forests, and beyond.
This illegal dumping of infectious waste is reckless and it’s contributing to a public health disaster. Neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. Sewage isn’t fuel, fertilizer or a safe source of drinking water. Unfortunately, it’s the source of deadly and unstoppable disease. It’s time to manage it responsibly.
Prions are contributing to the global spike in prion diseases, which also are known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). There is no species barrier to prion disease. A deadly prion is a deadly prion.
All forms of prion disease are deadly, incurable, contagious and unstoppable. Each species impacted is fueling the environmental contamination and cross-contaminating others and others species via infected bodily fluids and tissues. People, livestock and wildlife with these diseases not only are incurable, they are spreading the contagion throughout their day via blood, saliva, mucus, urine and feces.
Sick people are infecting cropland via biosolids and wastewater reuse (prions cannot be stopped by sewage processing–just ask the U.S. EPA and WEF). Infected croplands proceed to infect crops, deer, elk, cattle and anything else that grazes or eats the crop. Rainwater and irrigation wash those prions from the crops into creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans.
In other words, the hot spots for Alzheimer’s disease should be analyzed for all of these vectors. What do these areas have in common regarding sewage, agriculture, fishing, water supplies, health systems and more? The vectors are expanding by the day and ignorance and denial will only make things worse. Once these diseases come nipping at your door, we may all wish that we had taken the prion epidemic much more seriously and did not spread them like fertilizer.
The article below is long, but please glance through. When we discussed last week CARBON TRADING introduced by BILL CLINTON in 1990s deregulation of global Wall Street we identified what was a criminal action to steal SOVEREIGN LAND under the guise of being GREEN.
This hit our third world nations hardest ----then it was directed at the US and Canada. CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA pushed these massive fraudulent COMPLEX FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS that today 5% to the 1% state governors and US city mayors are PRETENDING are real deals needing to be upheld. These global banking players are saying---SORRY THOSE DASTARDLY GLOBAL 1% HAVE WON AGAIN------when in fact they are again GREAT BIG LOSERS. These offshore and forest carbon trading deals were fraudulent and therefor VOID.
'Village communities in the forest of Chiapas, Mexico, wrote a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown and other officials opposing a recent project that California was considering for inclusion under the program, asking that forest offsets not be approved for use on the market'.
So, do 99% of CA, MD, or VA citizens have to allow all those offshore global energy and global seafood platforms be installed because massive fraud handed these corporations offshore rights?
OF COURSE NOT------THESE US COASTAL WATERS ARE PROTECTED BY SOVEREIGN RIGHTS----FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL SOVEREIGN RIGHTS AND THESE DEALS ARE A NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL SECURITY THREAT.
The MAFIA-----is that 5% to the 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA pol and player.
The Forest Mafia: How Scammers Steal Millions Through Carbon Markets
When the product is invisible, the cons are endless.
- Ryan Jacobs
- Oct 11, 2013 The Atlantic
When the balding Australian first stepped off the riverboat and into the isolated pocket of northeastern Peru's Amazon jungle in 2010, he had what seemed like a noble, if quixotic, business plan.
An ambitious real estate developer, David Nilsson hoped to ink joint venture agreements with the regional government of Loreto province and the leaders of the indigenous Matses community to preserve vast thickets of the tribe's remote rainforest. Under a global carbon-trading program, he wished to sell shares of the forest's carbon credits to businesses that hope to mitigate, or offset, their air pollution.
The product is invisible, poorly understood, and regulation is extremely limited.Located a six-day ride from the frontier city of Iquitos, the jungle’s vegetation, soils, and looming trees store an immense amount of carbon dioxide—roughly one ton, the equivalent of one UN-backed carbon credit, per tree.
In an ideal scenario, this is how it's supposed to work: A community in a developing country works with an NGO or developer to design a plan to protect a large swathe of forest and thus prevent the release of the harmful chemical compound into the atmosphere, in accordance with the United Nations’ program called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). Then, it can get the emissions reductions certified by a third-party auditor and sell the resulting carbon credits to corporations in developed countries interested in reducing their own carbon footprints. (Deforestation accounts for roughly 17 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.)
Nilsson's Hong Kong-based company, Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited, planned to help the indigenous community set up the Peruvian carbon credit project in exchange for sharing the profits once they were sold. If Nilsson’s plan worked, in theory the forest would be spared from loggers, his company would net some profit, and the indigenous community would receive millions of dollars in funding for education and medical care from investors and corporations interested in expanding sustainability and social responsibility efforts.
Nilsson recruited Dan Pantone, an Iquitos-based American ecologist with close contacts in the Matses community, as a guide to show him around the jungle, and, more importantly, introduce him to the right decision-makers.
"[Nilsson] told me, 'You're going to be a millionaire in a year,’" Pantone said of his earliest phone conversation. "He said he was going to help the indigenous people."
Early on, Nilsson didn't seem particularly interested in hammering out the details of a potential forest project. "He didn't talk about REDD; he just wanted the contact," Pantone said of Nilsson’s early conversations with Angel Dunu Maya, a Matses chief. "Once he had the contact, he had everything he wanted from me.” In meetings with Peruvian lawyers, Nilsson was also advised about the difficulty of proving the risk of emissions, as REDD requires, in such an isolated area that was already designated as a reserve by the federal government. He also faced other, more obvious challenges. "The government asked him to show his sources of income, and he was unable to do that," Pantone added. "So that was a dead-end for him."
Nilsson flew back to Australia for Christmas, but he was not deterred. In February 2011, he reappeared in the jungle wearing what would become his signature, Crockodile Dundee-style Akubra cowboy hat.
Unable to broker a deal with regional government officials, he met with Matses leadership in Iquitos in March and presented a PowerPoint that detailed the incredible profits he claimed the tribe would receive. He was granted permission for a meeting in Matses territory, where the community would decide whether or not to sign the contract he had presented. According to Indian Country Today, a news service that caters to a Native American readership, the leaders were told that the agreement had to be written in English because “the World Bank and the UN only recognize the English language.” The contract, according to the indigenous rights organization Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), which advises the Matses and other tribes, gave "considerable control and powers to [Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited] for an indefinite period. Effectively this would reduce the Matses to the role of forest 'gatekeepers' rather than playing an active part in the administration or co-management of the Project."
By this point, Pantone’s relationship with Nilsson had soured, and his suspicions had boiled over into a full-fledged investigation into his past. In late March, Pantone was able to reach two of Nilsson's former associates, who claimed that they and indigenous communities in the Philippines had been victims of his deceit. Cecille Villanueva, who worked at an Australia-based energy consultancy company called Ienergy, sent the following to Pantone in an email:
We have known him to be deceitful, but also careful in covering himself from possible legal repercussions. But his character certainly shows a trail of … false claims to further his financial objectives, which
in the past involved illegally selling land and running with the monies of
vulnerable people. We hope this does not happen to the Matses.
She was referencing spurious land deals Nilsson had allegedly made with residents of the small South Pacific island nation Nauru. In the 1990s, according to transcripts of meetings in the Queensland Parliament, Nilsson had sold six rural lots in a coastal area development for $70,000 each. However, the lots did not exist and the investors in Nauru never received anything.
In addition, Nilsson's supposed carbon-credit firm began looking more and more like a shell company. It didn't have a functioning website or a physical office, according to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald.
After Pantone and the Matses shared theses details with AIDESEP and the Peruvian human rights monitor Defensoria del Pueblo, as well as the local newspaper, critics quickly labeled Nilsson a "carbon cowboy," and his plans began to unravel.
According to reporting by GlobalPost's Simeon Tegel, Defensoria del Pueblo instructed the Matses against signing a contract they couldn't read. After learning this, Nilsson stormed into the group’s office.
“He shouted. He insulted us, and we told him to leave,” Lizbeth Castro, the director of the office, told GlobalPost. “He said he was going to sue us and this would not stand. We told him, no problem, sue us. But we will keep on doing our work.”
In April, the Matses general assembly rejected the project.
But Nilsson continued to search for ways to get it off the ground, setting up meetings with another impoverished indigenous group, the Yaguas. He also dropped the Sustainable Carbon Resources Limited moniker and began operating under a new entity called Amazon Holdings.
By October 2011, he had convinced Javier Fasenando, the president of a Yagua federation, to sign a deal that would allegedly provide profits to the community "in return for rights to the 'wood' on their land."
According to GlobalPost:
Fasenando said that he understood the terms of the agreement. “Those who criticize it come from other communities,” he said. “They are envious.”
But at the end of our interview in Spanish, Fasenando struggled to confirm even the spelling of his own name. Other indigenous leaders confirmed to GlobalPost that he is unable to read or write.
Fasenando also was unable to tell me where FEPYRA’s copy of the agreement was.
Nilsson declined to provide a copy of the contract to GlobalPost, saying that he needed written permission from the Yagua communities involved in the deal.
Then, in an undercover operation led by investigative journalists with 60 Minutes Australia that aired in July 2012, Nilsson explained the real extent of his plan for the carbon deal to a producer posing as a potential investor as they sat over a huge map of the territory.
David Nilsson: It’s going to be billions.
Producer: Beg your pardon?
David Nilsson: Billions. I just, I’m scared to quote it, because it’s fucking huge, put it that way.
David Nilsson: My contracts are 200-year contracts, etched in stone, so when the carbon’s gone, people can come through and harvest the rainforest there. We’d have a forest management plan they can reforest, they can plant palm oil, they can cut all the timber. No one can stop them. No one can stop them.
Producer: But by doing this carbon plan, you’re stopping that happening?
David Nilsson: Yeah, but the carbon plan only goes for 25 years. The contracts still run and there’s enough timber there to supply the world down there. China will love it.
The project would profit not only from carbon credits, but also from felling the very forest it was allegedly protecting. Once the lead investigator, Liam Bartlett, revealed himself, Nilsson simply said that it wasn't a scam, and declared the interview over.
More than a year later, Nilsson refuses to discuss the details. Reached for comment by The Atlantic twice on his cell phone, he hung up after we identified ourselves. He did not respond to questions sent to his email address.
He has also attempted to smear anyone who questioned his schemes. He filed charges against Pantone for fraud in Peru (Pantone was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing) and later set up a defamatory website that accuses him of horrific crimes. Nilsson also filed criminal charges against a Matses leader for fraud.
Chris Lang, a long-time environmental advocate who was one of the first to report on Nilsson’s scams on his website redd-monitor.org, received an email from his service provider, Bluehost, in August of 2011 that forced him to delete "all images and references to the name" of Nilsson. The company “had received a ‘report of Terms of Service Violations,’” which, under its policies, includes divulging private information about third-parties without their consent.
After the 60 Minutes investigation, Nilsson attempted to impugn the credibility of the Australian journalists Stephen Rice and Liam Bartlett.
In an email to The Atlantic, Rice explained:
Nilsson is demanding that I be sent to jail for entering Peru illegally on a tourist visa. In fact, I was there on a legitimate journalist visa…
Most of [the online attacks against me and others are] just semi-literate rubbish, with laughable sources as “evidence,” but there’s no doubt Nilsson is pushing to have criminal charges laid against Liam Bartlett and I in Peru to make it difficult for us to return.
He’s lodged a 72-page complaint against me with the Australian journalists Association alleging I breached the journalist’s code of ethics and another against our television network (Channel Nine) with ACMA, the Australian broadcasting regulator. None of that is of any concern – our story was entirely accurate – but the complaints reveal the manipulation Nilsson employs.
Though there is a warrant for Nilsson’s arrest in Peru (for defamation, which is a criminal offense there), no international law enforcement organizations have yet investigated him for his alleged crimes. The Yagua have not received any money from him, according to Al Jazeera. It's unclear whether he's still peddling carbon projects to potential investors.
Though Nilsson's cons were extreme, international law enforcement authorities and environmental advocates say that the carbon markets are extremely vulnerable to financial fraudsters like him, especially when it comes to forest projects. Their shell games can also be hard to spot. As William Magrath, the World Bank's lead natural resource economist for rural development in Asia, once put it in a pun in a memo to his colleagues: "It's a jungle out there." In a meeting he attended with Interpol officials a few years ago, Magrath recalled, one man leaned back in his chair and called carbon "a con man's dream." The product is invisible, poorly understood, and regulation is extremely limited.
Despite the risks, carbon is the "world's fastest growing commodities market" valued at about $176 billion in 2011, according to the World Bank. The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the highest volume compliance market, accounts for $148 billion of that. Countries in Europe legally require top polluters to remain under certain government-issued emissions allowances, but companies who emit less can trade those credits to those who need more. Beyond those allowances, companies can purchase carbon credits, or offsets, which are linked to emissions reductions projects, like factory retrofits or other energy efficiency projects. If the U.S. decided to establish its own cap-and-trade market, the value of the trades could reach as high as $2 to $3 trillion. Credits from forest projects, like Nilsson's would have been, have not yet been approved for the compliance markets, but they are actively sold on a second kind of market for voluntary buyers interested in offsets.
Unlike the mandatory compliance credits, voluntary offsets aren't required, but they essentially allow big companies to claim they're more sustainable because they're financially supporting environmental projects, like forest conservation. Though much, much smaller, the $576 million voluntary offsets market, which includes credits from REDD projects, will likely expand as the formal compliance market grows. Many of the sales in this market are linked to corporate social responsibility efforts and are often meant to offset airline travel, large conferences and events, and manufacturing. A remote forest community, surrounded by carbon-storing trees, might offer their credits to say, a major retailer who wants an annual report that boasts a "green-friendly" initiative, or the like.
But without legally "binding targets" or formal regulatory bodies designed to verify the credits, voluntary offsets are also the area that’s ripest for exploitation. Already, many projects that don’t meet the UN’s environmental requirements end up eventually being sold on the voluntary carbon market, according to a June report from Interpol. Other projects offer carbon credits that are inflated in number based on misleading methodologies, do not exist on anything but paper, or, like Nilsson’s, may serve as a front for other illicit activities.
As the only international law enforcement agency "with a trans-boundary mandate, with designed units addressing both environmental and financial crimes," Interpol is one of the only agencies fully equipped to parse the data and identify carbon fraud at both the project and market levels. About a year ago, it began expanding and developing its intelligence on the emerging markets so that it could eventually advise and assist its 190 member countries in dismantling scams as new ones came online.
"Police speculate that the bomb scare provided a diversion so that employees wouldn't see phantom cursors moving across unattended screens."Its recent report intended to put its member countries "on notice about the potential pitfalls" of the trading systems, according to Davyth Stewart, a criminal intelligence officer with Interpol’s environmental crime unit. It highlighted the types of financial fraud the EU-ETS has already become accustomed to in hopes of forestalling similar schemes abroad. “The experience we've had with Europe was that it was often the case of chasing their tail," Stewart said. "You know, constantly on the backfoot, and having to plug holes that were being exploited. By the time they get around to discovering the fraud, a number of billions of dollars have already gone missing."
On Tuesday, June 2, 2009, carbon traders on the Paris-based BlueNext exchange noticed “a terrifically high level of activity” on their system, according to Chris Perryman, Europol’s project manager for organized and economic crimes. A record total of 19.8 million credits swept across the market, a volume “160 percent higher than … average daily trading volume for the first five months of the year (7.4 million),” according to a recent article by Queensland University of Technology professors Peter Martin and Reece Walters in the International Journal for Crime, Justice, and Social Democracy. The next day, activity plummeted to 2.5 million trades. The brokers communicated their concerns about the transactions to the government, and French police shut down the market to investigate the possibility of fraud.
The crime that the authorities uncovered was a simple and elegant manipulation of the European value-added tax (VAT) system, called “missing trader fraud,” according to Europol. The strategy had been used in various scams since the 1990s, particularly with small, high-value products like computer chips and mobile phones, according to Perryman. In the European Union, when products and commodities are sold across borders, the buyers are not required to pay taxes to the seller, but they are when those purchases occur within one member state. In the case of the “missing trader” scheme, a seller uses shell brokers to sell the carbon credits and pocket the taxes from the buyer, and then disappears.
But the intangible quality of carbon credits dramatically simplified the process. The criminals no longer had to fake transactions by shipping empty containers or forging documents. “Just by sitting and selling goods behind your desk, on your computer, you would suddenly have these … transactions which would allow you to sell goods without VAT across a border and then sell goods with VAT in your own country. And nobody was there to verify it.”
After the Blue
Next exchange investigation, authorities concluded that “up to 90% of all carbon trading in some countries was a result of these fraudulent activities. This fraud was estimated to have resulted in losses to several governments of around 5 billion euros in just over 18 months,” according to the Interpol report. The fraud also destroyed market confidence, further compounding the economic loss. According to Perryman, organized criminal syndicates have used the cash they earned from this type of carbon trading to fund other illicit activities in Europe, including cigarette smuggling, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. France and other European countries have since changed their trading rules to remove VAT from carbon transactions.
But VAT was only one of many financial scams.
According to Interpol, the lack of cross-checking or regulations between different international markets and exchanges has also allowed carbon credits from emissions reductions projects to be used on the same market to offset emissions more than once, eliminating the net environmental benefit the credits are supposed to provide.
In another case, hackers broke into the Czech Republic’s electronic carbon registry, run by the state-owned energy firm OTE. A bomb threat was called into the OTE’s Prague offices as the criminals offloaded the stolen credits, $37.7 million worth, to foreign accounts on registries in Estonia and elsewhere. “Police speculate that the bomb scare provided a diversion so that employees wouldn't see phantom cursors moving across unattended screens or other telltale signs of a breach,” according to Ecosytem Marketplace’s report.
Hackers have also set up fake carbon registry websites that have successfully lured companies and brokers to provide their account login details, according to Interpol’s Stewart. This technique, known as “phishing,” poses an ongoing risk as new registries are established with unfamiliar requirements in emerging markets. “It becomes easier, particularly when you’ve got new investors investing, and markets are new, for people not to really realize that the website that looks legitimate and has the nice logos on it is not actually a legitimate one,” he said. “Because the registries and the websites don’t yet have enough of a broad reputation.”
Since the EU has introduced new VAT rules and a single unified registry, much of the fraud has been eliminated from Europe’s market. But Perryman is still monitoring the system for high-value money laundering. Because millions of credits can be traded in one transaction, they can serve as an easy front for concealing the movement of illicit cash earned from other criminal activities.
Assuming the credits are real, the financial schemes merely result in economic losses. But manipulations also occur on the project side, as well, and that type of fraud can undermine the very emissions savings and environmental good that companies and investors are supposedly paying for. The value of the credits can be superficially inflated, or entirely invented, as Nilsson’s case illustrates. Even when developers are required to hire outside auditors to verify the emissions reductions, some of the projects are still not doing what they advertise.
Carbon cowboys can flourish quite easily because the product they sell is “an abstract commodity of nothing happening.”In an ideal world, developers set up efficiency projects that demonstrate clear reductions in emissions. Auditors review project claims, visit the site, verify they are real, and approve them under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism as Ceritified Emissions Reductions (CERs). Once they are approved and registered with the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, they can be traded over the compliance markets to offset the pollution of large emitters and meet legally mandated caps. In the case of forest projects, auditors are measuring something that's much more difficult to quantify. Instead of determining that a factory is no longer producing a toxic spew, auditors must evaluate whether the project is adequately protecting an at-risk forest, measure how much carbon is exactly stored within it, and then certify the emissions savings under the Verified Carbon Standard*. That way, investors can buy offsets knowing the claims have been reviewed.
But the margin of error for determining the environmental benefits of such projects varies widely. It lies somewhere between 10 percent for cement and fertilizer projects and 100 percent for agriculture-oriented projects, according to a 2010 piece in Harper’s. Reporter Mark Schapiro also detailed the cozy relationships and revolving doors that two prominent auditors–which have verified roughly two thirds of the UN-approved emissions savings–share with carbon project developers, who provide payments to the companies that are charged with guaranteeing the veracity of their projects.
The resulting audits are not particularly reliable. When the UN conducted spot checks of carbon auditors Det Norske Veritas and SGS in 2008 and 2009, the investigation revealed that both firms certified projects without visiting them, according to the Interpol report. Both were temporarily suspended from audits. In some cases, the auditors were ill-qualified to complete the work, lacking either training or "proper technical skills" for the projects to which they were assigned. Of course, these reviews only occurred in-house and not on the ground, Interpol and Harper’s note. "With the number of projects taking place in remote areas of the world, there will continue to be limits in the United Nations [sic] ability to properly police those projects," Interpol writes. In addition, according to the 2007 estimates a UN official reported in the Interpol study, 15 to 20 percent of Clean Development Mechanism projects granted carbon credits did not adequately prove that the emissions savings were directly linked to outside investment. Though these findings were for projects on the compliance market, the likelihood of passing off false data on the voluntary market is even greater.
Interpol's Stewart explained that even savvy investors don't really understand the process behind how the credits are generated, which makes it more difficult to detect when something is amiss. "It's not like a bag of rice or other commodities that can, at some point, be easily verified," he said. "Here, you'll have projects that are operating in very remote parts of the world, difficult to access. It becomes very difficult even for an independent auditor who goes, who can make it all the way out to that remote village or that remote town to verify that the project exists—and that they're doing what they say they're doing.” Carbon cowboys who set their sights on forest conservation can flourish quite easily because the product they sell, according to Tom Bewick, a Rainforest Foundation project manger who does work on the ground in Peru and Panama, is “an abstract commodity of nothing happening.”
In the voluntary market, it's really the investor's responsibility to make the determination whether the operators they're dealing with are legitimate or not. Because they're making a feel-good purchase, many times, it seems, they don't evaluate the sellers with much scrutiny. "Anyone can set up a project and sell voluntary carbon credits to anyone who will buy them," Chris Lang, of redd-monitor.org, wrote in an email. "The price can be whatever they can get away with. A large number of companies have been selling carbon credits as investments to members of the public -- targeting pensioners. Some people have lost their life savings to this scam."
In one such case, City of London police arrested Ian Macdonald and David Downes at London's Heathrow airport after a three-year trans-Atlantic investigation revealed that the pair had sold $9 million in fake or worthless carbon credits and shares to investors in the U.K. They had recruited cronies to use the phone lists from real companies to cold-call and convince their mostly elderly victims to sign up. "Some victims were contacted again months later and told companies they had invested in were the subjects of hostile takeovers and that they needed to buy more shares to protect their original investment. Individual losses ran as high as $600,000," a press release announcing the convictions read. The duo, which deposited the cash in American and Canadian bank accounts, lived ostentatiously. "We know they traveled the world," Detective Constable Claire Armson-Smith told British journalists. "Traveled business class. They had nice cars. Jaguars. Porsches. Nice clothes. Rolex watches.”
Another Australian, Brett Goldsworthy, who operates the company Shift2Neutral, has set up what he claimed were huge forest carbon credit projects that helped Australian PGA and the Sydney Turf Club events go carbon neutral. But, again, according to reporting by the The Sydney Morning Herald in 2011, the carbon projects, which Goldsworthy claimed were based in the Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malaysia, were not actually happening. Instead, Shift2Neutral, which claimed to have produced more than $1 billion worth of carbon offsets, had no employees besides Goldsworthy and was operating out of a small office in a Westleigh, Australia, shopping center. ''I realized there was something strange about Brett when we were negotiating with the tribes in the Philippines and he said he had a boatload of commandos waiting offshore in case he needed a 'hot extraction,''' Robert Hick, an investor who never received any compensation or returns from Goldsworthy, told the Herald. A website for Shift2Neutral is still active and has a list of press releases that outline its projects.
Predictions of future deforestation from a Conservation International project description. (Conservation International)
Even forestry projects that receive certifications through independent auditors are surprisingly easy to manipulate, according to experts. In vast thickets of jungle, like the ones Nilsson was after, maps of the land are usually either poorly labeled or inaccurate, according to Stewart. Boundaries between forest parcels can often be in dispute. When a developer claims the rights to a particular section of forest, flaws in titling records may make it very difficult to prove fraud.
A British company’s overestimation of the amount of carbon stored in the forests of Liberia would have exposed the country to $2.2 billion of financial risk, an amount higher than its annual GDP.Corrupt officials and tribal leaders may also claim the authority to make a deal they can't approve, according to Rainforest Foundation's Bewick, who also worked as a legitimate carbon credit developer in Colombia a few years ago. "They're just as likely to be part of the deal if they get something," he said. "The people that get screwed are the forest communities."
Even when there are clear collective titles over sparsely populated swathes of forest, there's still room for manipulation.
"For a well-intentioned developer, such as we were, the collective title implies collective management and common pool resource distribution, which I would argue lends itself to great chance of sustainability," Bewick wrote later in an email. "For a fraudster, it can be an opportunity to manipulate the executive leadership into signing over the carbon rights to a massive land area. So, yes, a lot less people to deal with or defraud."
The UN's guidelines for REDD projects are also easy to game. Developers are required to define an "imaginary" emissions baseline, or the rate at which logging and other forces would degrade the environment in the event that the proposed project didn't go into effect. "In essence, the purpose of this offset policy is to ensure that greenhouse gas reductions are 'in addition to what would have happened anyway,'" Martin and Walters wrote in the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy article. While this might be easier to prove on a factory retrofit, by, for example, using an emissions device to measure how much carbon dioxide is released before modifications, determining how nature and markets will act on a forest in the future is a guessing game subject to significant corruption. "One can imagine situations where local collusion might occur in relation to future land use and, in establishing a baseline, propose … degradation activities that may never have been undertaken in reality," the authors continue. If developers imagined a scenario where half the forest was logged, for example, the carbon credits would be worth more and the returns on the market would be much higher, even if that amount of logging was unlikely.
When Nilsson was initially considering his carbon projects, the proposed baseline was already an area he planned on fudging. In an email dated September 21, 2010, he asked Pantone:
Are there any records of deforestation aerial or satellite photos showing the deforestation logging over the last 10 to 30 years this will give us an idea when the existing timber will be deleted thus endangering the Matses land and way of life[?]
Pantone replied two days later, offering the most accurate assessment of the difficulties in proving deforestation:
There has been very little deforestation of Matses titled lands, with most being centered around the recently abandoned town of Buenas Lomas Antigua (the population moved to Buenas Lomas Nueva). I will send you links to the satellite images and other maps when I return from my trip next week.
Despite this information, Nilsson wrote back the same day:
I note that there is very little deforestation on the Matses land Dan[.] [A]s long as we can demonstrate the rate of deforestation in Peru and how it can affect the Matses land in time [sic].
...we will have some work to do on this so the Matses land qualifies for a carbon credit project. Between all of us that is 1 American 2 Aussies 1 Irishwomen and team of experts I do not think it will not [sic] be a big problem.
Determining the amount of carbon actually stored in a forest may be more straightforward than predicting the future, but it, too, has several gaping holes where crooked operators can creep in. Satellite imagery, according to Stewart, does not, for instance, provide details on the different species of trees or how much carbon is stored in the soil. To do that, scientists hired by developers on the ground must survey the landscape. Due to the expense and difficulty in locating a parcel of forest in these remote areas, auditors rarely make the trip to evaluate their interpretations.
Even if an auditor manages to visit the trees, it becomes a complex and monumental undertaking, according to Stewart. The results often involve calculations with a set of assumptions that vary based on the particular methodology the ecologist employs. “It can be relatively easy for a bribe to be paid … to the auditor to choose one methodology over another,” Stewart said. “If you didn’t know about the bribe, and you were just looking at the end result, it would be very difficult to just to notice that.”
In 2010, a British company’s overestimation of the amount of carbon stored in the forests of Liberia would have exposed the country to $2.2 billion of financial risk, an amount higher than its annual GDP.
Many of the conmen of the voluntary carbon market can expect to run free without oversight on the ground or law enforcement follow-ups. “Because it’s not a mandatory market, there often isn’t the same regulator oversight, and so some of these carbon cowboys aren’t necessarily being pursued by the law in the way they necessarily should be,” Stewart said. And coming up with a case is difficult because it’s hard to prove much beyond a simple breach of contract, even though the ultimate damage can devastate the environment and financially ruin communities.
“It’s a cesspool, but it’s a beautiful place.”The isolation and lack of infrastructure on the ground in most of these far-flung REDD forest areas make them extremely vulnerable to audacious operators, who can then market the projects to unknowing investors abroad. In fact, the weak rule of law seems to be something that the cowboys depend upon. “If you’re a burglar and you’re wandering around the streets, and you’ve got every window with [a] neighborhood watch [sign],” Perryman said, “and then you go three blocks away and it doesn’t exist, that’s where you break in.”
Iquitos provided the perfect setting for Nilsson’s con. One of Nilsson’s translators there, an American who wished to remain anonymous, told The Atlantic he wasn’t going to defend his former employer, and that, given the undercover video from 60 minutes, his behavior seemed “pretty bad.” But all the lawlessness, corruption, and counter-narratives made it difficult to decipher the truth in a city where there was an “extremely fine line between a savvy businessman and a conman,” he said. In other words, it was somewhere where someone like Nilsson could thrive. “It’s the frontier,” the translator said. “A lot of [foreigners] go there because they ran out of roads somewhere else. It’s a cesspool, but it’s a beautiful place.”
According to a report from Global Witness in 2011, in Cameroon one guard "must police hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest and several well-financed European logging companies, yet he has no vehicle, no radio, and his shoes are several sizes too small." As Martin and Walters note, the typical location of a REDD project does not have the economic resources, regulations, or government to defend against scammers.
There is something especially insidious about these fake forest carbon credits. Investors and corporations who buy voluntary credits believe they are buying into something grander than, say, the efficiency improvements of a single factory in China. They believe they’re funding not only the preservation of trees, but also the wellbeing of local forest communities. Unwittingly, they might be financing the destruction of both.“Forests are not just a reservoir of carbon,” Stewart said. “They’re also ecosystems. They provide biodiversity. They provide habitat. They provide livelihoods for local people.”
NOT UNWITTINGLY THAT'S FOR SURE
Few investors would expect money designated for forest preservation to be funneled to an illegal logging operation, but in an unregulated system with fraudsters like Nilsson, it’s entirely possible. “When you retrofit out a factory or you change the smokestacks and you change the machinery and you double-glaze the windows, you know that there’s going to be long-lasting benefits,” Stewart said. “Whereas with forests, they’re constantly under pressure for being cleared and for being logged. So the level of oversight is currently inadequate, I think, and not only does it need to be improved, it needs to be … sustainable and long-term.”
The voluntary market has provided a preview of what could happen if forest carbon credits ever hit the higher-stakes compliance carbon market. Though the EU-ETS has officially put off that possibility until at least 2020, California’s fledgling cap-and-trade system could approve foreign forest credits sooner. Carbon credits sourced to forest management projects located within the lower 48 states can already be used to meet compliance emissions standards there. Village communities in the forest of Chiapas, Mexico, wrote a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown and other officials opposing a recent project that California was considering for inclusion under the program, asking that forest offsets not be approved for use on the market. They criticized the technical expert that helped set up the plan, writing that she “was more focused on approving the REDD+ scheme to assure business interests than guaranteeing the protection of biodiversity, forests, and indigenous and peasant farmers’ territories and rights.”
Both Interpol and Europol said they expect that if forest credits do become eligible for trading on the compliance market, the same swindlers who profited off tax schemes and other loopholes will find ways to manipulate the forest projects as well.
“It’s a bit of a murky world really,” Europol’s Perryman said. “It’s a shame because obviously the whole idea from the politicians and legislators was to promote a cleaner world, and that has just been completely sunk. The good ideas and good intentions have been scuppered by the activities of fraudsters.”
THE FRAUDSTERS ARE THOSE GLOBAL BANKING 1% ROBBER BARON POLS FOR GOODNESS SAKE-----GOOD INTENTIONS---OH, REALLY???
Below we see today's MARYLAND GOVERNOR HOGAN being the son of Clinton era 1990s Wall Street banking deregulation and this father did indeed support CARBON TRADING and made sure it was connected to offshore MARYLAND. This is a FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT right wing Republican ----same as the STENY HOYER as a FAKE left Democrat. Our Maryland Republicans are Eastern Shore and Western Maryland ---and they are those wanting global banking 1% industrialization---just as far-right wing Clinton neo-liberals.
So, today's HOGAN-----and today's Maryland AG FROSH ---BFF with US FED are PRETENDING to have no way to stop illegal actions against the state sovereignty of our continental coastline. They both HAVE THE POWER to deny these actions =====they CHOOSE not to. Our Baltimore Mayor PUGH has the power to stop these offshore actions that will hit our PORT OF BALTIMORE but she CHOOSES not to act.
Father and son pols simultaneously seek Maryland seats in Congress
December 05, 1993|By Karyn Spellman | Karyn Spellman,Capitol News Service
FREDERICK -- Larry Hogan Jr. vowed he would run again for Congress on election night in 1992 after losing to 5th District Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer.
But his effort to build on the Hogan political legacy -- started by his father, Larry Hogan Sr., a former congressman and county executive -- could be overshadowed.
The elder Mr. Hogan also will run in 1994 for a Maryland congressional seat. He said recently he will challenge friend and 6th District Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett.
These US CONTINENTAL SHELF issues are huge US, state, and local sovereignty attacks as our articles from last week stated. Any #OUR REVOLUTION # RESIST # ME TOO-----all FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT global banking 1% groups would be fighting this =====not only as environmental issue---but citizen justice. THEY ARE SAYING NOTHING.
Maryland's governor as a FAKE right wing Republican----is doing the same thing as California's FAKE left wing Democratic governor-------and both are acting ILLEGALLY as it is their duty to protect SOVEREIGN RIGHTS.
Maryland governor, AG oppose offshore drilling
Updated: 10:10 AM EST Jan 5, 2018
ANNAPOLIS, Md. --
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Attorney General Brian Frosh are both expressing opposition to drilling off Maryland's coast.
The Republican governor sent the Democratic attorney general a letter Thursday directing him to investigate the U.S. Interior Department's plan, which was announced earlier in the day.
Hogan called for "any viable legal claims, actions or suits against the U.S. government to prevent" offshore drilling in Maryland's coastal waters.
Earlier in the day, Frosh also expressed his opposition to the Trump administration's announcement. Frosh, a Democrat, says "we will fight every step of the way to protect our shores and our Chesapeake Bay from the dangerous and irresponsible decisions of this Administration."
Maryland's lone Republican member of the Congressional delegation, Rep. Andy Harris released a statement, saying, "You can't underestimate the geopolitical significance of America being the world's largest energy producer. Given that importance, I support exploration and production if it can be done in an environmentally safe manner."
Here is that Eastern Shore FAKE right wing Republican HARRIS telling us all this is fine as it makes US world's energy producer. Global corporations having no ties to US drilling and selling all of US energy overseas for profits-----KILLS OUR US SOVEREIGNTY AND RIGHTS.
'Maryland's lone Republican member of the Congressional delegation, Rep. Andy Harris released a statement, saying, "You can't underestimate the geopolitical significance of America being the world's largest energy producer. Given that importance'
"This pickup in growth in the United States leads to the U.S., in the very near future – later this year, next year – becoming a net exporter of natural gas,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said of surging gas exports Wednesday, while presenting the EIA's International Energy Outlook at a think tank in the nation's capital. "That was something that most people would've thought impossible just 10 years ago."
Here in Maryland, a ANDY HARRIS as a LARRY HOGAN are sold as different from an O'MALLEY or BROWN-----when they are the same global banking 5% pols and players.
LEAVING OUR US, STATE, AND LOCAL REGIONS DRAINED OF ENERGY PRODUCTS IS AN ATTACK ON SOVEREIGNTY.
US exports more oil than it imports for first time since 1995
Fracking boom drives US exports, despite environmental concerns
November 14, 2013 7:31PM ET
The United States exports more oil than it imports for the first time since 1995, in a growing trend sped by the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing.
For the month of October, the U.S. averaged exports of 7.7 million barrels of oil per day while taking in just 7.6 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Imports were at their lowest since February 1991, EIA reported Wednesday.
Shale gas extraction involves pumping water and special chemicals into deposits deep beneath the earth to break apart hard deposits of the gas-rich shale, then draw the fuel back up.
The “fracking” boom has sparked controversy, with opponents saying it contaminates ground water and causes earthquakes. Advocates argue the industry brings jobs to communities that allow the practice.
The EIA projects fracking will grow significantly as a source of U.S. energy production over the next 30 years.
Along with fracking, lower consumption due to increased prices has helped turn the U.S. into a net oil exporter, according to USA Today.
Between January and May, the U.S. managed to satisfy 86 percent of its own needs, Bloomberg reports.
"I think this is huge, and it's another step in this revolution that we're seeing in the energy market," Phil Flynn, an energy analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, told Reuters.
"We're seeing our reliance on imports of crude fall every day."
In its monthly Short Term Energy Outlook, the EIA forecast U.S. oil production rising to 8.88 million bpd in December 2014 and average 8.49 million bpd throughout that year.
Imports, meanwhile, will fall to as low as 5.8 million bpd in December next year and average 6.54 million bpd for the year. The EIA forecasts production outstripping net imports for every month until the end of 2014.
Net petroleum imports into the United States were at 5.67 million bpd, their lowest since 1991, according to the EIA.
The White House said the country had crossed a "historical milestone in energy independence" and credited falling oil demand to President Barack Obama's policies of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and encouraging biofuel production.
U.S. output including natural gas liquids and biofuels has swelled 3.2 million bpd since 2009, the fastest expansion over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia's output from 1970-1974, according to energy consultancy PIRA.
The U.S. October production rates are the highest since May 1989, according to EIA data. Output had been broadly declining since the late 1980s until around 2010 when the results of shale drilling kicked in.
While the existence of shale oil had been known for decades, few thought it would be economically viable to exploit the resources due to the expensive technology and extensive drilling required.
But by combining horizontal drilling, which reaches more of an oil reservoir that is shallow but expands across large areas, with hydraulic fracturing, where rock is fractured using water and chemicals to ease the oil out of the reservoir, the shale enigma was finally cracked.
Some in the industry have been speculating whether export restrictions — imposed after the 1970s Arab oil embargo provided a rude awakening to the dependence of the country on foreign oil -- could be eased in years to come.
"This is the point we've been trying to get to since the '70s when we thought, gosh, we can be held hostage. Every president since then has been talking about the need for energy independence," Flynn said.
"Some natural gas and liquefied natural gas exports have begun, and if that goes fairly well, it may have the U.S. revisit some of the rules we put in place after the crisis in the '70s and rethink some of those policies. That's how different the world is now," he said.
We will discuss the sovereignty issues of real estate rather than energy sovereignty this week. We have already described how during CLINTON ERA---1990s the FDR policy of US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES being simply duty free zones for global markets was expanded to what is MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE US Foreign Economic Zones operating in all ways just as those overseas. None of this is LEGAL---it is all UNCONSTITUTIONAL-----global banking 1% are simply MOVING FORWARD because they bought those dastardly 5% pols and players black, white, and brown citizens.
Here we see BUSH-ERA 2000 policies doing the same. This is the policy written describing what US coastal sovereignty looks like. Surely, we wouldn't suspect BUSH to be acting IN SELF-INTEREST in redefining our US offshore sovereignty as geological research identified all these offshore drill sites these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and now he is creating policies to allow for global energy to usurp state and local sovereignty. As CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA states-----coastal STATES have sovereign rights to continental shelf off its coast. The Federal sovereign rights as well do not allow global energy corporations to operate in an economy of TRIBUTE STATE EXPORTING of natural resources.
'Under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, every coastal State has a continental shelf out to 200 nautical miles from its coastal baselines (or out to a maritime boundary with another coastal State), and beyond that distance if certain criteria are met. Article 76 of the Convention sets forth the criteria upon which a coastal State may determine a continental shelf that extends beyond 200 nautical miles'.
This article tells us in 2007---just before the massive 2008 economic crash Bush began the effort to DELIMIT the US ECS. At the same time they are talking about SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE designation-----EEZ-----SEZ------FTZ------Foreign Economic Zone----SANCTUARY CITY-----these are all the same terms around killing our US sovereignty on land and on our US rights----
'Beginning in 2007 the effort to delimit the U.S. ECS'
99% US WE THE PEOPLE do not even know these public policy issues because those global Wall Street FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT 'labor and justice' 5% organizations simply use TALKING POINTS rather than educate on issues. It was only a decade or two ago this attack on sovereignty occurred and it is EASY PEASY to REVERSE.
Defining the Limits of the U.S. Continental Shelf
Since 2001, the United States has been engaged in gathering and analyzing data to determine the outer limits of its extended continental shelf (ECS). Under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, every coastal State has a continental shelf out to 200 nautical miles from its coastal baselines (or out to a maritime boundary with another coastal State), and beyond that distance if certain criteria are met. Article 76 of the Convention sets forth the criteria upon which a coastal State may determine a continental shelf that extends beyond 200 nautical miles. The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf that lies beyond this 200 nautical mile limit. Beginning in 2007 the effort to delimit the U.S. ECS became the Extended Continental Shelf Project, directed by an interagency task force.
Defining the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf
The process to determine the outer limits of a State’s ECS requires the collection and analysis of data that describe the depth, shape, and geophysical characteristics of the seabed and sub-sea floor. Particularly important is bathymetric and sediment thickness data.
The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, an interagency body headed by the U.S. Department of State, coordinates the work to define the limits of the U.S. continental shelf. Participants in this Task Force include: State Department, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the U.S. Geological Survey, the Executive Office of the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minerals Management Service, and the Arctic Research Commission.
Why define the U.S. extended continental shelf?
A coastal State can exercise certain sovereign rights over its continental shelf, including: exploration, exploitation, conservation, and management of non-living resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf, such as ferromanganese crusts, ferromanganese nodules, gas hydrate deposits, and petroleum; and exploration, exploitation, conservation, and management of living, "sedentary" resources, such as clams, crabs, scallops, sponges, and mollusks.
While a continental shelf is coincident with the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) out to 200 nautical miles, the ECS is not an extension of the EEZ. Sovereign rights that apply to the EEZ, especially rights to the resources of the water column (e.g., pelagic fisheries) do not apply to the ECS.
Establishing ECS limits will define the U.S. continental shelf in concrete geographical terms. Moreover, the United States has an inherent national interest in knowing, and declaring to others with specificity and certainty, the extent of sovereign rights with regard to the U.S. continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Such certainty and international recognition is important to establishing the stability necessary for development and conservation of these potentially resource-rich areas.
The collection and analysis of the data necessary to support the establishment of the U.S. ECS will, in itself, serve a range of other environmental, geologic, engineering, and resource management needs. The data will provide a better scientific understanding of formation and transformation processes of our continental margins. The United States will gain specific insights related to such areas as climate variability, marine ecosystems, undiscovered or unconventional energy, mineral resources, and hazards resulting from extreme events, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Finally, exploration of little known areas, particularly in the ice-covered Arctic, will advance our operational capabilities and open new windows on this remote and inaccessible environment.
Data Collection and Analysis
In late 2001, Congress directed the University of New Hampshire’s Joint Hydrographic Center (JHC) -- a partnership with NOAA -- to conduct a study that evaluated current data holdings relevant to establishing the U.S. ECS, and to recommend what additional data would be needed. This study identified a number of areas where the United States may have extended continental shelf: the Atlantic East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean, Kingman Reef/Palmyra Atoll, and the Mariana Islands/Guam.
This amounts to about one million square kilometers or approximately twice the size of California. Roughly half of that area is likely to exist off Alaska. Additional analyses and data collection suggest an even larger ECS, in these and possibly other areas. As additional data are collected and existing data analyzed, we will begin to come to a more definitive conclusion as to the extent of the U.S. ECS.
Since 2002, the JHC has continued to receive grants from NOAA as directed by Congress to collect the bathymetric data specified in the study. The JHC has collected more than one million square kilometers of bathymetric data from eleven cruises: Arctic Ocean (2003, 2004, 2007), Gulf of Alaska (2005), Gulf of Mexico (2007), Atlantic Ocean (2004, 2005, 2008), Northern Mariana Islands and Guam (2006, 2007), and Bering Sea (2003). A cruise is planned for an area off Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll in 2008 or early 2009.
Today we want to review the history of these US, STATE, LOCAL sovereign coastal rights because this is what CARBON TRADING and global banking frauds tied to them used to attack our 99% WE THE PEOPLE sovereignty in our rights to control our economy through coastal protections.
We are debating the issues of EEZ vs ECS------when last century our US sovereign coastline was clearly marked as 200 miles----remember, all these offshore oil, fracking, massive seafood platforms are occurring just miles off coast-------
'Sovereign rights that apply to the EEZ, especially rights to the resources of the water column (e.g., pelagic fisheries) do not apply to the ECS'.
It was REAGAN era 1980s when these terms EEZ were installed-----this was why REAL left social progressives KNEW global market policies were taking control of our US domestic economies and would create stagnant monopolized economic production. This term ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE ZONE using PROCLAMATION 5030 was a MOVING FORWARD to today's FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE operating independent of US laws, courts, and constitutions.
'President Ronald Reagan decided not to become a party to UNCLOS for several reasons, many of which were related to its provisions on deep seabed mining beyond the continental shelf. However, in 1983, he issued Proclamation 5030, which declared the existence of a U.S. EEZ and defined the U.S. zone in a manner consistent with the UNCLOS definition. The proclamation stated that the U.S. EEZ extended 200 nm from the U.S. coastline and that the United States had sovereignty over the living and nonliving resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf laying within the EEZ'.
Both our 99% US right wing voters and our US left wing voters should have seen this as an attack on our sovereign rights and protested en masse together as needs be done today. It does our US right wing no good for HERITAGE FOUNDATION-----now same think tank as BROOKINGS global neo-liberal think tank to discuss this in 2011----when the issue was back in 1980s. REAL LEFT AND REAL RIGHT WING 99% were protesting back in 1990s against these public policy. We talk to local media in Baltimore never mentioning this and those 5% media players act as though they don't know any of these policy.......
FREEDOM PROJECT is the same FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT global banking 1% for the right wing 99% as our FAKE media on the left. All academics and national media have KNOWN these policies are GORILLA-IN-THE-ROOM.
Bernard and Barbara Lomas Senior Research Fellow
Steven worked to protect and preserve American sovereignty, self-governance and independence as a former leader of The Freedom Project'.
'UNCLOS proponents are prepared to transfer a great deal of wealth—perhaps tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars of royalty revenue over time—to an international organization over which the United States has only limited authority'.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea Erodes U.S. Sovereignty over U.S. Extended Continental Shelf
June 7, 2011 22
Bernard and Barbara Lomas Senior Research Fellow
Steven worked to protect and preserve American sovereignty, self-governance and independence as a former leader of The Freedom Project.
Abstract: If the U.S. becomes a member of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it will be required to transfer a large portion of the royalties generated on the U.S. extended continental shelf to the International Seabed Authority. These royalties may likely total tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars. The Authority may then distribute those funds to developing and landlocked nations, including some that are corrupt, undemocratic, or even state sponsors of terrorism. Instead of diverting U.S. revenues to such dubious purposes, the U.S. government should retain any wealth derived from the U.S. extended continental shelf for the benefit of the American people.
U.S. law decrees that the mineral resources on and below the surface of the continental shelf are held by the federal government for the benefit of the American people. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and some U.S. states benefit from royalties paid by energy companies for the oil and natural gas that they extract from the continental shelf off the coast of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Membership in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) would alter U.S. law and current practice for the worse. If the United States joined the convention, it would be required to transfer a portion of the royalty revenue generated on the U.S. extended continental shelf (the shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore) to the International Seabed Authority in Kingston, Jamaica. The Authority is empowered to distribute those funds—considered “international royalties”—to developing and landlocked nations, including some that are corrupt, undemocratic, or even state sponsors of terrorism.
Given the potentially massive mineral wealth on the U.S. extended continental shelf, U.S. accession to UNCLOS would likely have significant financial implications. Congress, particularly the Senate, needs to fully consider the potential wealth transfer that would result from joining UNCLOS. To this end, the U.S. Task Force on the Extended Continental Shelf needs to complete its work so that the Senate and the rest of the U.S. government will have a better estimate of the royalty revenue at stake.
The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea
The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea was adopted at the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea on December 10, 1982. UNCLOS is considered by some to be a “constitution for the ocean,” defining the rights and responsibilities of all nations on matters ranging from the breadth of a nation’s territorial waters to the conduct of ships on the high seas.
President Ronald Reagan, whose Administration participated in the final stages of the UNCLOS negotiations, refused to sign the convention and stated several objections to it, most of which dealt with the convention’s provisions on deep seabed mining. In subsequent years, an effort was made to address these objections, which were also raised by other nations. Negotiations over revisions in the deep seabed mining provisions of UNCLOS concluded in 1994 during the Clinton Administration. This addendum to UNCLOS, which sought to revise the objectionable provisions, was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on July 28, 1994, and signed by the United States on July 29, 1994.
President Bill Clinton transmitted UNCLOS and the 1994 agreement to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent on October 7, 1994. Although the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has conducted several hearings on UNCLOS, the full Senate has not consented to the convention or the 1994 addendum, and the United States remains a non-party to both instruments.
There are several reasons why the United States should be skeptical of acceding to UNCLOS, but this paper focuses on just one: Article 82 of UNCLOS would require the United States, if it became a member, to transfer a portion of the royalties from exploiting resources on its extended continental shelf to the International Seabed Authority, an international organization established by UNCLOS and seated in Kingston, Jamaica. In turn, the Authority would distribute the royalty revenue to various developing nations in a manner that might not advance U.S. national interests. These Article 82 requirements contrast starkly with U.S. law and policy on resources on the U.S. continental shelf and the disposition of royalties.
U.S. Law and Policy on the Continental Shelf’s Resources
Before the end of World War II, national sovereignty and jurisdiction were understood to end at the outer edge of a nation’s territorial sea, generally considered to be three nautical miles (nm) from a nation’s shoreline. However, there was no consensus on the limit of national claims to resources of the sea or seabed beyond a nation’s narrow territorial sea.
This situation began to change on September 28, 1945, when President Harry S. Truman issued Proclamation 2667, “Policy of the United States With Respect to the Natural Resources of the Subsoil and Sea Bed of the Continental Shelf.” The proclamation states in part:
Having concern for the urgency of conserving and prudently utilizing its natural resources, the Government of the United States regards the natural resources of the subsoil and sea bed of the continental shelf beneath the high seas but contiguous to the coasts of the United States as appertaining to the United States, subject to its jurisdiction and control.
The purpose and intent of the Truman Proclamation are clear from the opening paragraph, which references “the long range world-wide need for new sources of petroleum and other minerals” and encourages their discovery and extraction. Indeed, the accompanying White House press release explains further:
The advance of technology prior to the present war had already made possible the exploitation of a limited amount of minerals from submerged lands within the 3-mile limit. The rapid development of technical knowledge and equipment occasioned by the war now makes possible the determination of the resources of the submerged lands outside of the 3-mile limit. With the need for the discovery of additional resources of petroleum and other minerals, it became advisable for the United States to make possible orderly development of these resources. The proclamation of the President is designed to serve this purpose.
President Truman’s proclamation was modified by U.S. law in 1953 in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), which defined the outer continental shelf (OCS) as “all submerged lands lying seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters…and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control.” The OCSLA definition places no limit on the seaward extent of the U.S. continental shelf, the end of which is determined only by where the deep seabed begins.
OCSLA declared that it is U.S. policy that “the subsoil and seabed of the outer Continental Shelf appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction, control, and power of disposition.” The OCSLA further stated that the resources of the continental shelf belong to the American people:
[T]he outer Continental Shelf is a vital national resource reserve held by the Federal Government for the public, which should be made available for expeditious and orderly development, subject to environmental safeguards, in a manner which is consistent with the maintenance of competition and other national needs.
After Truman’s proclamation, at least 20 nations followed suit by making similar claims regarding their respective continental shelves. This emerging practice, as well as disputes over the breadth of territorial waters and other maritime issues, led the U.N. General Assembly to convene the first U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1958. Four separate conventions were adopted at that conference, including the Convention on the Continental Shelf. The United States ratified that convention in 1961, and it remains in effect.
The Convention on the Continental Shelf affirmed the principle, set forth by the Truman Proclamation and the OCSLA, regarding a nation’s sovereignty over its continental shelf: “The coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources.” The convention defined the continental shelf as “the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the coast but outside the area of the territorial sea, to a depth of 200 metres [about 650 feet] or, beyond that limit, to where the depth of the superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas.”
In 1980, Congress adopted, almost verbatim, the convention’s definition of the continental shelf in the Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act (DSHMRA), which regulates the exploitation of mineral resources such as manganese, nickel, cobalt, and copper on the deep seabed beyond the limit of the U.S. continental shelf.
Since these definitions were articulated in 1958 and 1980, advances in deep-sea mining have made it possible to exploit the resources on the continental shelf well beyond the depth of 650 feet. The definition of “continental shelf,” derived both from the Convention on the Continental Shelf and from the DSHMRA, therefore essentially encompasses the entire U.S. continental shelf out to the margin where it meets the deep seabed floor.
The Truman Proclamation, the OCSLA, the Convention on the Continental Shelf, and the DSHMRA collectively represent the status quo on the definition of the U.S. continental shelf and the disposition of its resources. In making his proclamation in 1945, President Truman clearly intended to secure “new sources of petroleum and other minerals” for the United States. The OCSLA confirmed President Truman’s assertion of U.S. jurisdiction over and control of its continental shelf and mandated that the resources of the continental shelf are “held by the Federal Government for the public.”
Finally, the provisions of the Convention on the Continental Shelf are entirely consistent with U.S. laws that define and delimit the continental shelf, such as the DSHMRA, and the convention places no restrictions on U.S. access to all resources of the shelf or its right to all benefits derived from those resources.
The Continental Shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone
The 1945 Truman Proclamation claimed the entire U.S. continental shelf in a holistic and indivisible state, with no demarcation line for an “outer” continental shelf. In 1953, the OCSLA clarified the Truman Proclamation’s description by dividing the continental shelf between a narrow portion of the continental shelf abutting the coastline—the “lands beneath navigable waters”—and the vast area of the shelf beyond those lands, which was designated the “outer” continental shelf.
The concept of an undivided continental shelf became complicated in 1982 when the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea adopted the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. UNCLOS provisions draw a distinction between the submerged lands of the continental shelf that extend from a nation’s shoreline out to 200 nautical miles and any submerged lands beyond 200 nm.
Under UNCLOS, the submerged lands within the 200 nm limit fall within a nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), within which a nation has “sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources…of the seabed and its subsoil.” However, under UNCLOS, the sovereign rights of a nation to its continental shelf lying beyond the 200 nm EEZ are not absolute.
President Ronald Reagan decided not to become a party to UNCLOS for several reasons, many of which were related to its provisions on deep seabed mining beyond the continental shelf. However, in 1983, he issued Proclamation 5030, which declared the existence of a U.S. EEZ and defined the U.S. zone in a manner consistent with the UNCLOS definition. The proclamation stated that the U.S. EEZ extended 200 nm from the U.S. coastline and that the United States had sovereignty over the living and nonliving resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf laying within the EEZ.
While Proclamation 5030 is silent on U.S. sovereignty beyond the EEZ, it does state that the proclamation “does not change existing United States policies concerning the continental shelf.” A distinction between the status of submerged lands within and outside the 200 nm line likely seemed unnecessary at the time because the technology to exploit mineral resources on the continental shelf beyond that line was at best in a nascent stage. However, the technology for deep-sea exploration has continued to advance, and in recent years, the potential to exploit mineral resources beyond the 200 nm EEZ has grown.
Since 2003, in an effort to define the outer limit of the U.S. continental shelf, the United States has collected bathymetric mapping data (to ascertain water depth) on the outer margins of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, the Gulf of Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Coast, and the Bering Sea and off the Northern Mariana Islands, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Guam, Hawaii, and the West Coast. The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, an interagency project, is conducting this data collection. To differentiate these areas from the “outer” continental shelf, as a term of convenience, the task force designates the continental shelf extending beyond the 200 nm EEZ as the “extended continental shelf” (ECS).
To date, the ECS Task Force has identified six areas that “likely” contain submerged lands that qualify as ECS and nine areas that “possibly” contain such lands. The six likely areas are off the Atlantic Coast, in the Arctic, in the Bering Sea, west of the Marianas Islands, and two small areas in the Gulf of Mexico. The nine “possible” ECS areas include the Gulf of Alaska, the western end of the Aleutian Islands, east of the Mariana Islands, Hawaii’s Necker Island, the Johnston Atoll, the Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll, and three areas off the West Coast. Over the next several years, the task force will collect additional information, particularly seismic-reflection/refraction data, to identify the outer boundaries of the U.S. ECS more definitively.
As Map 2 indicates, there is a great deal of potential for the existence of U.S. ECS in more than a dozen locations across the globe.
The value of the potential oil and natural gas deposits and other minerals lying beneath the U.S. ECS is difficult to estimate at present, but it is likely substantial. According to the ECS Task Force, “Given the size of the U.S. continental shelf, the resources we might find there may be worth many billions if not trillions of dollars.”
Royalties and Revenue
Exploitation of resources from the U.S. ECS is expected to generate royalties in the near future, and the United States will forgo some of those royalties if it joins UNCLOS. The potential financial impact of joining UNCLOS is evident from a brief review of how revenue is generated from activities currently taking place on the U.S. outer continental shelf within the 200 nm line.
A wealth of mineral resources (e.g., oil and natural gas) lies below the surface of the U.S. OCS. Alaska’s OCS alone may contain almost 10 billion barrels of oil and 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Massive known reserves of oil and natural gas also lie beneath the OCS in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) in the U.S. Department of the Interior manages the nation’s oil, natural gas, and other mineral resources on the OCS. One of BOEMRE’s primary activities is managing sales of offshore oil and gas leases. Through BOEMRE, the United States leases OCS tracts to companies for exploration and exploitation. The companies bid competitively for leases, and the winning company is required to make certain payments to the Secretary of the Interior for deposit into the U.S. Treasury.
First, the company that makes the highest bid pays a “bonus bid,” an up-front payment to secure the lease. Second, until production begins at the site, the company makes annual “rent” payments of $5 to $11 per acre, depending on the water depth at the site. Finally, once production begins, the company pays an annual royalty on the value of production at the site. The OCSLA sets a minimum annual royalty rate of 12.5 percent, but that rate has increased over the years and often fluctuates between 12.5 percent and 16 percent, depending on the depth of the water at the site of production.
The typical royalty rate on the Alaskan OCS is 12.5 percent. However, new leases have a royalty rate of 18.75 percent, which will likely be the rate for future leases. All royalties, rents, and bonus bids generated from lease sales and production on the Alaskan OCS are transferred to the U.S. Treasury general fund.
Bonus bids, rent payments, and royalty payments are distributed differently in the Gulf region. The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) governs the distribution of revenue from mineral exploitation in the Gulf of Mexico. GOMESA splits the revenue between the U.S. Treasury and certain U.S. states that border the Gulf. The U.S. Treasury general fund receives 50 percent of the revenue from Gulf OCS leases, and the remaining 50 percent is divided between the Gulf States (37.5 percent) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (12.5 percent).
Both the Alaskan OCS and Gulf OCS will continue to generate revenue for the United States for many years to come. According to Interior Department estimates, the U.S. OCS contains 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proved and unproved reserves and another 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in as yet undiscovered resources.
Such vast resources will continue to generate billions of dollars in royalty revenue for the United States. A recent report by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska evaluated further development of the Alaskan OCS, focusing on the Beaufort Sea OCS and the Chukchi Sea OCS, the two OCS areas off the northern shore of Alaska. Assuming a minimum royalty rate of 12.5 percent, mineral exploitation in these two areas would generate almost $92 billion in royalty revenue over the next 50 years.
“Sharing” U.S. Royalties
As noted, the Truman Proclamation, the OCSLA, the Convention on the Continental Shelf, and the DSHMRA represent the status quo regarding the definition of the U.S. continental shelf and the disposition of its resources. That is to say that the entire continental shelf, from the shoreline to the end of the ECS where the deep seabed begins, is sovereign territory of the United States, subject to its complete jurisdiction and control. U.S. accession to UNCLOS would significantly alter the status quo.
If the United States became an UNCLOS member, it would be required to transfer a substantial portion of the royalties generated on the U.S. ECS to the International Seabed Authority. UNCLOS requires member states to “share” a portion of their royalty revenue for all oil, gas, or other mineral resources extracted from the continental shelf beyond 200 nm. This would include, if the U.S. were a member, the extended continental shelf. Article 82 of UNCLOS states:
The coastal State shall make payments or contributions in kind in respect of the exploitation of the non-living resources of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
These payments are to be made to the Authority on an annual basis. Like the royalties paid by companies that enter leases under the OCSLA, the amount of the royalty is based on the value of production at the particular site—in most cases, an offshore drilling platform extracting oil or natural gas from the seabed. According to a recent study conducted for the Authority, such payments are considered “international royalties.”
Member states begin to pay these “international royalties” during the sixth year of production at the site, apparently to allow the company a grace period of five years to recoup the costs of exploration. Starting with the sixth year of production, UNCLOS members must pay 1 percent of the total production at that site to the Authority. Thereafter, the royalty rate increases in increments of 1 percentage point per year until the twelfth year of production, when it reaches 7 percent. The annual royalty rate remains at 7 percent until production ceases at the site.
If the United States became an UNCLOS member, it would effectively be agreeing to transfer to the International Seabed Authority a considerable portion of the royalties generated on the U.S. ECS that would otherwise be deposited in the U.S. Treasury for the benefit of the American people. Assuming that the royalty rate on the U.S. ECS is set at 12.5 percent, the U.S. would be required to transfer more than half of its royalty revenue to the Authority beginning in the twelfth year of production until production ends. Given that ECS resources “may be worth many billions if not trillions of dollars,” the U.S. would be obligated to pay substantial international royalties to the Authority.
The United States will likely soon begin to exploit the oil and natural gas resources on its ECS. The BOEMRE has already issued exploration leases for areas located, at least in part, on the U.S. ECS. Indeed, during the bidding process, the BOEMRE has given notice to companies bidding on offshore leases about UNCLOS Article 82. Since at least 2001 and as recently as 2008, BOEMRE has advised companies that the Article 82 royalty payment provisions would apply if the United States joins the convention.
The BOEMRE is not alone in its opinion that activities on the ECS will commence sooner rather than later. The report commissioned by the Authority predicts that, while Article 82 “has been dormant since the adoption of the Convention,” it “will soon awaken,” and royalties from that provision may come due to the Authority as early as 2015.
In sum, under current U.S. law and policy, all royalties and other revenue generated from exploitation of the U.S. ECS and owed to the United States would be deposited in the U.S. Treasury to be dispensed in the best interest of the United States and the American people. However, if the United States accedes to UNCLOS, potentially billions of dollars in royalties would instead be transferred to the Authority pursuant to Article 82. How the Authority would dispense those “internationalized” royalties is less clear.
The Authority’s Distribution of ECS Royalties
UNCLOS authorizes the Authority to distribute royalty funds to despotic regimes, corrupt nations, and even state sponsors of terrorism, arguably without the final consent of the United States or any other country that might pay international royalties pursuant to Article 82.
UNCLOS provisions direct that international royalties generated by resource exploitation of the ECS be distributed to certain recipients to the exclusion of others. The Authority is required to distribute the revenue only to UNCLOS members and to preference developing countries, particularly those that are landlocked or the “least developed,” and to “peoples who have not attained full independence or other self-governing status.”
If the United States joined UNCLOS, it would be one of more than 160 nations that are party to the convention and would have limited control over the disposition of Article 82 revenue. All final decisions on the “equitable sharing of…payments and contributions made pursuant to article 82” are made by the Assembly, the “supreme organ” of the Authority. The Assembly consists of all nations that are party to UNCLOS. The United States would have only one vote in any Assembly decision, whether it dealt with Article 82 revenue or some other matter.
Some UNCLOS proponents maintain that the United States, if it joined the convention, would have a “veto” over such decisions because the U.S. would hold a permanent seat on the 36-member Council, which is the executive organ of the Authority. In fact, UNCLOS empowers the Council only to make recommendations to the Assembly on the disposition of Article 82 revenue, which the Assembly may approve or disapprove. Any Council recommendation that is disapproved by the Assembly is returned to the Council “for reconsideration in the light of the views expressed by the Assembly.” Therefore, in function and form, the Assembly makes final determinations regarding the disposition of Article 82 revenue.
Thus, it is unlikely that the United States would be able to prevent the Authority from distributing Article 82 revenue to Cuba and Sudan, UNCLOS members that the U.S. State Department has designated as state sponsors of terrorism. It would also be difficult for the United States to block the Authority from sending funds to the undemocratic, despotic, and/or brutal regimes in Belarus, Burma, China, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Finally, the United States would have limited ability to stop the transfer of Article 82 revenue to corrupt regimes, especially given that 13 of the 20 most corrupt nations in the world are UNCLOS members.
By virtue of its seat on the Council, the United States might be able to hinder decisions to distribute Article 82 revenue for purposes to which it objects. Whether the United States would be steadfast in its objections to such distributions and whether the Assembly would make any such distributions without the consent of the Council are open questions.
UNCLOS is silent on how UNCLOS nations that receive Article 82 royalty revenue should spend it. UNCLOS does not require recipient nations to spend the revenue on anything related to the oceans or the maritime environment. Nor does it require them to spend the revenue on humanitarian or development projects, even though most, if not all, of the eligible recipients are supposed to be poor, developing countries. Recipients are apparently free to spend the funds on military expenditures or simply deposit them into the personal bank accounts of national leaders.
Finally, UNCLOS does not require that Article 82 revenue be spent in a transparent or accountable manner. Apparently, the Authority simply hands over substantial amounts of money to the recipient nation to be spent however that nation sees fit, no matter how corrupt or inept that nation’s leadership is.
What the United States Should Do
The U.S. government needs a better understanding of the magnitude of the mineral wealth on and beneath the U.S. extended continental shelf before it begins to contemplate UNCLOS membership. Without a well-informed estimate of the potentially vast resources of the ECS, the U.S. Senate is in no position to make an intelligent decision on UNCLOS accession. To that end:
- The U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force needs to complete its work. This will require continued support from the Obama Administration and Congress. The task force is a relatively new project and requires much more data to measure and demarcate the full extent of the U.S. ECS properly in locations scattered across the globe. With seabed mining technology continuing to advance, the ECS Task Force should be given the resources necessary to complete its mission.
- Congress should direct the U.S. Geological Survey to estimate the potential mineral wealth associated with the U.S. ECS. The Senate needs to be fully cognizant of the potential wealth of the ECS before making any decision that would transfer a portion of that wealth to the International Seabed Authority for distribution to the “developing world.”
- Once the full extent of the U.S. ECS has been determined, the President should issue a proclamation confirming U.S. jurisdiction over and control of the ECS and all of its resources, similar to the proclamations issued by Presidents Truman and Reagan on the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone. Congress should amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to codify the ECS proclamation. While neither step is necessary to establish the U.S.’s rights to its own continental shelf, such a proclamation and legislation would clarify to the international community that the United States is asserting full and complete sovereignty over its ECS regardless of any provision of UNCLOS to the contrary.
- The relevant House and Senate committees should hold oversight hearings on the potential wealth of the U.S. ECS. Under current U.S. law, the resources of the continental shelf are “held by the Federal Government for the public.” Congress should openly debate whether transferring royalties to the International Seabed Authority would be in the best interests of the United States and the American people.
At a minimum, these steps will ensure that Congress, especially the Senate, is fully aware of the financial implications of U.S. membership in UNCLOS before making any decision on accession to the convention.
UNCLOS proponents are prepared to transfer a great deal of wealth—perhaps tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars of royalty revenue over time—to an international organization over which the United States has only limited authority. The ultimate beneficiaries of that wealth could easily include corrupt and despotic regimes and state sponsors of terrorism.
Instead of diverting U.S. revenues to such dubious purposes, the U.S. government should retain any wealth derived from the U.S. extended continental shelf for the benefit of the American people.
'In short, territorial water wins over EEZ, but UNCLOS does not expressly stipulate that. One must infer it'.
REAGAN was totally tied to UNCLOS as national media PRETENDED he was against it just as media pretends TRUMP is against TPP and filling US CITIES with a few billion global labor pool 99%......REAGAN redefined our US sovereign coastal policy to EEZ----because EEZ would be tied to TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT bringing those EEZ off US coastline into same policies as UNITED NATIONS ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE operating as Foreign Economic Zones do overseas.
The US continental shelf drops dramatically to what is now called the EXTENDED CONTINENTAL SHELF----MOVING FORWARD today is taking all our near shelf ---the extended shelf is deep-water drilling, fracking, global seafood platforms being built these few decades and will be under UNCLOS.
'Given the potentially massive mineral wealth on the U.S. extended continental shelf, U.S. accession to UNCLOS would likely have significant financial implications'.
It is the existence of this UNCLOS organization and global market structure that is now being moved in to include near-offshore into extended offshore-----these blurring of national sovereignty undermining our ability to control coastal markets and security. REAGAN pretending he was right wing conservative was allowed to look like he did not like UNCLOS when he was MOVING FORWARD policies tied to UNCLOS. Today's Clinton neo-liberals PRETEND it is left social progressive to include global 1% in our US sovereign economy-----doing mass marches to Washington selling SANCTUARY CITIES as helping 99% of global labor pool---when our 99% immigrants would want US sovereign rights.
'The Convention, concluded in 1982, replaced four 1958 treaties. UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th nation to ratify the treaty. As of June 2016, 167 countries and the European Union have joined in the Convention. It is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law'.
While FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT 5% social progressives use talking points like JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, COMMUNITIES COMMUNITIES COMMUNITIES---STOP BEING MEAN TO IMMIGRANTS-----these are the public policy REAL left social progressive have shouted these few decades----this is what we need to STOP MOVING FORWARD.
If a country's territorial sea overlaps with another country's EEZ, would the former's claim precede the latter's?
Harjo Winoto, studied at Yale University
Oct 19 2016 ·
The answer to this question is not clear cut. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) does not contain any specific or express provision on what to do if territorial water overlaps with EEZ. To be more specific, there is no express provision governing the question which one wins: territorial water or EEZ? Your question implicitly begs for another question: which one is stronger? If you read UNCLOS in its entirety in contains a standard provision on delimitation rule, i.e. Article 15 for territorial water and Article 74 for EEZ. So, UNCLOS says in principle that when there is a dispute for delimitation, one shall resort to an agreement/negotiation. The default rule is equidistance (or divided equally or each get half). But this makes sense only in a situation where it is territorial water vs. territorial water or EEZ vs. EEZ, or contiguous zone vs. contiguous zone. It is apple to apple.
Since your question is territorial water vs. EEZ, I would suspect that territorial water will win. Again, I could not find any express provision which stipulates that or any ICJ or ITLOS decision on the specific issue of territorial water vs. EEZ. My argument is as follows:
- Territorial water is essentially a continuation of the law of the land, or the law that applies to the land that is not covered by water. If you think about it, territorial water is a natural extension of that land. Look at picture below.
2. Since the law of the land is closely tied to sovereignty, hence the same law applied to territorial water is also a claim of sovereignty. Unlike contiguous zone, EEZ, and continental shelf, there is nothing in UNCLOS that stipulates the right of a state to territorial water (except how it is drawn, etc). Precisely because it is the sovereignty of the state to determine the law governing territorial water. So in territorial water, you can do everything that you can do in EEZ and contigous zone, but not the other way around. Territorial water rights = EEZ rights + contiguous zone rights + continental shelf rights + other rights that sovereignty entitles you to.
3. One can argue that sovereignty being the cardinal principle of international law, and territorial water is tied to sovereignty, while EEZ is tied to UNCLOS (and UNCLOS attempts to avoid even the resolution/mechanism to settle territorial water vs. territorial water dispute, let alone territorial water vs EEZ), therefore, territorial water trumps over EEZ.
I would say that this scenario would have never occured in real life as territorial water is marked before EEZ is. So chronologically, you can’t possibly draw EEZ line because states have submitted the territorial water limit prior to submitting EEZ line and your EEZ claim will he determined by whether it crosses certain limits, e.g. territorial water.
Unless you are China drawing unilateral line on South China Sea. The dispute was not clear since China did not make any claim under UNCLOS, and other ASEAN states have EEZ rights within the same water.
In short, territorial water wins over EEZ, but UNCLOS does not expressly stipulate that. One must infer it.
With regards to your sub question, as others have answered it, i.e. only if the rock is habitable, etc etc. Or when you build permanent landmark (e.g. lighthouse) or made a historical claim as China did. But the interesting question is if you did have a habitable rock which overlaps with EEZ which one will win? In this hypothetical scenario, let’s assume that you built it after EEZ line is drawn and practiced. If you bring this dispute to court, I’d say you will have to prove either (1) good faith (i.e. you didnt claim it with bad intention to sabotage the other state’s rights) or (2) traditional or historical rights (it is like saying yes the other party draws and practices EEZ first and it looks like we are ok, but we are just too busy to watch all parys of our sea all the times. We just practice our historical rights and since there has never been any dispute we assume there is no problem. Suddenly, we realize our territorial water should be longer than it is)
All of those global corporations vying for offshore rights to operations and extraction of natural resources are MULTI-NATIONAL------there are many definitions in economics for multi-national but for US sovereignty issues we need to know these MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS are exploiting US sovereignty to move WEALTH overseas and using POWER to colonize the US by ignoring our US sovereign laws and 300 years of sovereign legal stances.
'An international company is multinational if the managers of the parent company are nationals of several countries. Usually, managers of the headquarters (e.g., GM, Toyota) are nationals of the home country. This may be a transitional phenomenon'.
Why was BP drilling in US Gulf of Mexico bringing that massive oil spill? It was 42 miles off coast----in our US territorial waters. Why would Bush family OILMEN----ROCKEFELLER family OILMEN allow a global energy corporation to drill and extract off US sovereign waters? Because CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ----now TRUMP are working for OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE global 1% killing 99% of US WE THE PEOPLE.
Gulf or BP Oil Spill
- Smithsonian Ocean Portalocean.si.edu/gulf-oil-spill The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people, underwater cameras revealed the BP pipe was leaking oil and gas on the ocean floor about 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
All of these economic policies have been degrading our US sovereignty offshore. None of them were legal at the time and MOVING FORWARD we are seeing these attacks becoming broader-------deeper---------and as EEZ status has been given to our complete US coastline-----it takes all US states east, south, west.
It was TEXAS and LOUISIANA state governors----mayors who should have fought for state sovereignty on natural resources even if they could care less about environmentalism.....now happening on West and East Coasts---violating same state and local sovereignty laws.
U.S. Agrees to Allow BP Back Into Gulf Waters to Seek Oil
By CLIFFORD KRAUSSMARCH 13, 2014
HOUSTON -- Four years after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, BP is being welcomed back to seek new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
An agreement on Thursday with the Environmental Protection Agency lifts a 2012 ban that was imposed after the agency concluded that BP had not fully corrected problems that led to the well blowout in 2010 that killed 11 rig workers, spilled millions of gallons of oil and contaminated hundreds of miles of beaches.
BP had sued to have the suspension lifted, and now the agreement will mean hundreds of millions of dollars of new business for the company. But even more important, oil analysts said, it signifies an important step in the company’s recovery from the accident, which has been costly to its finances and reputation.
“After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable,” said John Mingé, chairman and president of BP America. “Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”
That prospect elicited sharp criticism from environmental groups. “It’s kind of outrageous to allow BP to expand their drilling presence here in the gulf,” said Raleigh Hoke, a spokesman for the Gulf Restoration Network, based in New Orleans.
Under the agreement, BP will be allowed to bid for new leases as early as next Wednesday, but only as long as the company passes muster on ethics, corporate governance and safety procedures outlined by the agency. There will be risk assessments, a code of conduct for officers, guidance for employees and “zero tolerance” for retaliation against employees or contractors who raise safety concerns.
An independent auditor approved by the E.P.A. will conduct an annual review and report on BP’s compliance with the new standards. The agency said in a statement that it would also have the authority to take corrective action “in the event the agreement is breached.”
“This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we’ve outlined together,” said Craig E. Hooks, the E.P.A.’s assistant administrator of administration and resources.
Fadel Gheit, an oil company analyst at Oppenheimer & Company, said it was “a moral victory for BP.” He added: “It will be the best news BP has gotten since the accident. BP has to get back into the hunt in order for them to score.”
Critics of the agreement noted that nearly four years after the spill, the cleanup has not been completed. Oil still washes up in places, particularly during storms, as happened in October with Tropical Storm Karen.
“They still haven’t really made it right when it comes to the gulf,” Mr. Hoke said.
Public Citizen, a consumer activist group, also expressed outrage, saying in a statement that the settlement “lets a corporate felon and repeat offender off the hook for its crimes against people and the environment.”
The accident continues to mire the company in lawsuits and court hearings. BP settled criminal charges with the Justice Department two years ago for $4.5 billion in penalties, but the oil company faces billions of dollars more in costs from a federal civil trial in New Orleans to determine how much it will be required to pay in Clean Water Act fines.
The company is also arguing that a separate settlement it made with businesses and individuals who suffered losses because of the accident has been misinterpreted. But a federal appeals court ruled this month that the company would have to abide by its agreement and pay some businesses for economic damages without their having to prove the damages were caused directly by the spill.
BP initially estimated that the costs of the settlement would run to $7.8 billion, but it now says the cost could rise well above that.
BP, which employs 2,300 people in the Gulf of Mexico, continues to explore on leases in the gulf from before the 2010 accident. At the end of 2013, the company had 10 drilling rigs in the deep waters of the gulf, and it reported a significant new discovery 300 miles southwest of New Orleans. BP said last year that it intended to invest at least $4 billion on average in the gulf each year for the next decade.
Oil production in the gulf remains below records set in 2009, and the industry continues to recover from a yearlong drilling moratorium that the federal government set after the spill. But several large oil companies, including Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, are flocking back to the gulf. There were only about a dozen rigs working in the gulf three months after the disaster, and that increased to more than 60 by the end of last year.
When the E.P.A. issued the original ban, it cited BP for “lack of business integrity” because of its role in the accident and said the suspension would remain until the company could provide sufficient evidence that it met federal business standards.
The ban prohibited BP from selling fuel to the Pentagon and prevented the company from expanding its oil and gas production to new leases in the gulf, a major center of its worldwide operations. The company’s older leases make BP one of the most important oil and gas producers in the United States.
BP’s suit, filed last year in federal court in Texas, said that the ban was unjustified and that the agency had neglected to consider safety improvements the company had made.
David M. Uhlmann, a University of Michigan law professor and former chief of the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section, said it was not unusual for corporate monitors to be appointed any time a corporation was convicted of criminal activity, especially in environmental cases. “What is unusual is BP was suspended from government contracting for such a long time,” he added.
Senator Mary L. Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat in a tough race for re-election, hailed the settlement, although she added that E.P.A. should never have enacted the ban in the first place.
“The good news is that BP will now be able to participate in next week’s lease sale that will bring much-needed revenue to Louisiana and other oil-producing states along the Gulf Coast, as well as boost business for the region’s small and independent service and supply companies,” she said in a statement.
Our state governors and US city mayors are telling US citizens with these global corporate deals as MOVING FORWARD US CITIES filling with foreign global corporations----it is good for these global corporations to come and bring revenue and jobs------where are the American regional corporations to do that?
GONE WITH THE WIND AS THEY SAY IN THE SOUTH!
“The good news is that BP will now be able to participate in next week’s lease sale that will bring much-needed revenue to Louisiana and other oil-producing states along the Gulf Coast, as well as boost business for the region’s small and independent service and supply companies,” she said in a statement'.
Our 99% of US citizens on our EAST and WEST coasts better not allow all these attacks on our state and local sovereignty unfold as those southern states did-----we already know global multi-national corporations will use EEZ and UNCLOS to move all wealth and control of operations in these continental shelve regions be taken by global 1%.
When we allow GOOF-BALL GOVERNOR HOGAN be shown in media pretending he is fighting for 99% of Maryland citizens or GOOF-BALL GOVERNOR BROWN doing the same in CA----we have no rights we are not sovereign citizens---we are being made COLONIAL ENTITIES. Don't forget, our middle-states around GREAT LAKES are fighting for these same SOVEREIGN COASTAL rights.
LET'S NOT BE LOUISIANA OR TEXAS-----LET'S BE US 99% CITIZENS WITH SOVEREIGN RIGHTS.
OBAMA did not BAN drilling for 7 years---Obama EXPANDED offshore drilling to East and West Coasts and revived Gulf drilling while oil spill devastation was still unfolding. It is ENFORCEMENT OF THESE POLICIES----OBAMA DID NOT ENFORCE ANYTHING---media simply allowed him to say this talking point.
JINDAL AND BUSH as governors could care less about sovereign offshore territory rights and US natural resources---they were both working for OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1%. Carbon trading during OBAMA terms soared-------attacking our US sovereignty offshore and our national forest parkland.
Obama bans eastern Gulf drilling for 7 years
By the CNN Wire Staff
December 1, 2010 8:00 p.m. EST
The ban on drilling in the Gulf is a result of the April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
- NEW: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says ban will send "more jobs overseas"
- Drilling in sensitive areas of the Arctic will proceed "with utmost caution," Salazar says
- A more "robust safety regime" and more environmental analysis are needed, he says
- The ban is a result of the April 20 BP drilling rig explosion and oil spill
Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama will not be allowing new drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for at least seven years, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday.
The exploration of drilling possibilities in sensitive areas of the Arctic will proceed "with utmost caution," he said.
Obama's decision effectively reverses White House plans announced at the end of March to open the Gulf region -- along with other large swaths of U.S. coastal waters -- to oil and natural gas drilling.
Under the plan, roughly two-thirds of available oil and gas resources in the eastern Gulf would have been opened to drilling. Areas located within 125 miles of the Florida coast would have remained off limits.
Salazar said the seven-year ban is being imposed as a result of lessons learned from the April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf, which killed 11 people and triggered one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.
An estimated 4.9 million barrels (206 million gallons) of oil gushed into the Gulf before the broken well, 5,000 feet below the surface, was capped.
There is a broader recognition of the need for a more "robust safety regime" and additional environmental analysis in the Gulf, Salazar told reporters.
He dismissed concerns that the decision will seriously damage efforts to further develop domestic energy resources, noting that roughly 29 million acres already under leases in the Gulf have not yet been developed.
Rep. Ed Markey, one of the most vocal BP critics in Congress, said the announcement shows the White House "has heeded the lessons of the BP disaster."
"This plan will move America forward on a prudent path until we can ensure that when an oil company drills ultra-deep, it is ultra-safe," the Massachusetts Democrat said. "Opening up wide swaths of our coasts to oil drilling before we put the proper regulatory measures in place would have been a mistake."
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said it is "good the president is listening to the people of Florida."
The administration lifted a six-month moratorium on deep-water oil drilling in October.
Salazar has argued that the moratorium provided time to make sure accidents similar to the BP disaster won't occur again, and that rig operators are prepared to deal with worst-case scenarios if they happen.
Critics of the ban, including Republican leaders, Gulf state officials and Gulf Coast residents, said it only hurt oil and gas workers in hard-hit coastal communities, where hundreds of jobs were lost because of the disaster.
Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and a frequent critic of the Obama administration's handling of the Gulf spill, said in a statement, "This announcement from the Obama administration today will undoubtedly send more economic capital and even more jobs overseas, in the wake of those oil rigs that already left our waters for Egypt, the Congo and Nigeria during the 'arbitrary and capricious' moratorium on deepwater drilling."
Environmental groups and other supporters of the moratorium argued that it was necessary due to a lack of effective regulation of deep-water drilling that allowed the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill to occur.