Broad coalition supports Senate ratification of Law of the Sea Treaty

We who live near the ocean should be appalled that the U.S. Senate has not yet ratified the Law of the Sea Treaty. It has been approved by 145 other nations. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved it unanimously in February. It has the support of a broad array of U.S. interests, from environmentalists to shippers to the oil and gas industry to the U.S. Navy.

The concept of the treaty is to create exclusive economic zones that run 200 miles offshore. In the rest of the ocean there would be international understandings regarding navigation, fishing and the marine environment.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is afraid to bring the treaty to the floor, because the ideological fringe that runs the Republican Party believes the treaty is a threat to American sovereignty. The New York Times has suggested that "the right wing's opposition seems not so much a coherent position as an article of blind faith."

It is beyond absurd that this urgent piece of business is bullied into submission by the crowd that promises to insure President George W. Bush's re-election. Sen. Frist's lack of resolve in the face of the fringe crowd tells us how little he understands his role.

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