US ratification of UNCLOS necessary to secure US interests in the development of offshore wind power
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Wind power is a rapidly growing source of alternative energy that is likely to be a fundamental feature in the United States’ energy future.8 The success of traditional terrestrial wind turbines combined with an increasing demand for alternative energy has led to increased proposals for developing offshore wind resources.9 Because oceans and seas are governed by a wide body of treaties, the construction of offshore wind installations will raise questions of international law.10 Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”)11 by the United States would clarify the issues of international law for U.S. development of offshore wind power.12
UNCLOS is a multinational treaty defining and codifying the law of the sea. On May 15, 2007, President Bush submitted UNCLOS to the Senate for its advice and consent.13 The Senate’s ratification of UNCLOS will secure U.S. interests in the development of offshore wind power by providing a uniform body of law for offshore development. Most importantly, it will define jurisdiction, and provide for dispute resolution.