sharing of revenues and royalties from the exploitation of the seabed. Greenwald of Deepsea Ventures, echoing the ocean mining industry’s position, called for sure access to the resources at fair, non-monopoly prices. The ocean miners want non-discretionary licensing for anyone with the will and skill to exploit the seabed. R. W. Bybee, representing Exxon at the symposium, envisioned an international regime for the development of the seabed resources not under national jurisdiction. However, he said his seabed regime would not be hampered “from the outset with detailed specific leasing rules or other restrictions embedded in treaty. It should operate on a nondiscriminatory basis with incentives for the attraction of capital and technology on a fair and competitive basis.” FREE ENTERPRISE wants to have a go at the sea floor. Howard Hughes wants a whack at it. Tenneco, Shell and Exxon, too. They think an international regime, functioning as a monopoly, may exploring and exploiting the seabed. Of course they will throw a little of the money back to the developing nations once they have taken out their incentive. People like Howard Hughes are not just going. to tread water, while the world sits on its moratorium, pending the signing of an LOS treaty. To show how serious these investors are, Deepsea Ventures has already applied $100 million to the problem of deep sea mining. It is planning a Pacific mine site and, also, a processing plant in the Gulf area, contiguous with the Texas petroleum refinery complex. Howard Hughes is building a barge to end all barges, to go in and get some of the bounty of those manganese nodules. \(There is impetus for such retrieval action since the U.S. now imports 98 percent of all its manganese ore, 84 percent of its nickel, 92 percent of its cobalt, from such politically fragile countries as Chile and years, production of from one million dry tons of manganese nodules to 10 to 15 million tons could be underway. And according to Bybee, currently oil is being produced or is about to be produced off the coasts of some 40 nations, with another 60 nations in the exploratory stages. \(This is possible thanks to the technology developed and incubated right off the Gulf of Mexico by our own Texas boys and industry, names such as Brown After the coastal nations at the LOS have divvied up the seabed and oceans for their “territorial seas,” the LOS will have to form an international regime to legislate on the high seas. It will be difficult to keep all the different players in the ballgame, but it would be fatal not to. For the decision power, should you have a weighted vote structure with the scales tipped toward the maritime powers, or do you go with one-nation one-vote at the meeting? Such sticky subjects as licensing of seabed exploration will come up. Do you have bidding schemes? If so, how could a capitalist country ever hope to win over a country that didn’t need to make a profit? People with a stake in the superports will be listening closely. It would be a pity for Texas, after much wrangling at home, to get her superport up and running, only to find out that it couldn’t hold water in terms of new international laws and water divisions. If a treaty is not signed in Caracas this summer, there will be another chance in Vienna in 1975. But after that, the chance will have been lost. Within three to five years, technology will have outrun the world’s laws and politics. Once again Pardo, that ocean clairvoyant, supplies the gut statement: If the conference fails, there will be not only the obvious short-term chaos, such as nodule filching and the Iceland fishing dispute, but also rather serious long-term implications for the world community. They will become apparent after ten or fifteen years, no more. Once states have a technology, especially a powerful technology, they will go ahead and use it and the devil take the hindmost. That is the way the world has always operated. If there is no regime for controlling that technology, the rich will get richer. The developing countries, the ones without the technology will, as usual, be the ones to suffer. 4 IF THERE is no treaty, unilateral, bilateral and multi-lateral agreements will appear like driftwood after a storm. Each such agreement has the potential to cause world conflict. The ocean mining industry, while firmly believing that a universally-approved treaty is the best solution to its legal problems, is also pursuing the legal channels of bilateral negotiations, and domestic legislation. The mining industry is seeking legislative guarantees that would make the U.S. government underwrite the industry’s investments of equipment and capital, should an LOS treaty go against mining activities and cause mines to be expropriated. The American Mining Congress bill would also allow ocean mining companies to lease 40,000-kilometer blocks of ocean floor for a mere $5,000 licensing fee. It would underwrite company losses for the next 40 years. Howard Hughes has already made it clear that he will go ahead with or without the blessings of Congress. Needless to say, this unilateral action by the mining industry could be perceived as provocative by other countries. Texas, while not dominating the U.S. delegation to LOS, is working hard behind the scene. The oil boys are not about to watch the international seabed declared off limits. That’s why the U.S. delegation has a huge groundswell of lobbyists. Sometimes it seems that mining and oil lobbyists are trying to lobby the U.N. The Washington Post records this curious situation: The size and makeup of the U.S. delegation has also become an issue here. It has at least 30 observers in addition to its 40 accredited members. Some in both categorieS are representatives of private industry whose views contradict official U.S. policy. Several Americans whom the U.S. mission insists are not members of the delegation wander freely in and out of supposedly closed sessions, like Maxwell McKnight of the National Petroleum Council. The U.S. made a list of accredited names available to the press only after repeated questioning from newsmen led by Judy Yoye, the editor of an oceanographic newsletter. When she started to photograph the Americans concerned in U.N. conference rooms, some shielded their faces from her camera. 5 It’s as though high stakes poker games were being raided. Despite the presence of scientists, lawyers, ocean geologists and other sobering agents, the conference has been political from the outset and tainted by national interests. So far, people on the inside of the preparatory negotiations say it’s more like a floating monopoly game: “I’ll give you two railroads, if you give me one Park Place and the right to use your navigable strait.. ” 5. “U.S. Presses on Seabed Pact,” from Washington Post, April 2, 1973. March 1, 1974 15 4. As quoted in Saturday Review! World, Nov. 6, 1973.
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