U.S. House Rejects
EU Emissions Trading Scheme On U.S. Aircraft
By Daniel Baxter
October 25, 2011 - The U.S. House of Representatives
passed H.R. 2594, which prohibit operators of civil
aircraft of the United States from participating in the
European Unionís emissions trading scheme. This costly
EU scheme would impose new taxes, emissions cap and
trade requirements on U.S. air carriers flying into and
out of the EU airspace.
The legislation, entitled "The European Emissions
Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011" (H.R.
2594), was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House
of Representatives on Monday.
The bill prohibits all U.S. airlines and general aviation flight operators from participating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) if it is unilaterally imposed on them. It also orders FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt to do all within his ability to ensure flight operators are not penalized by the program.
Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen
said, "we applaud the House of Representatives for passing this
important measure, which sends a strong, unified signal to EU
regulators that their planned Emissions Trading Scheme is
unacceptable. Global aviation standards are overseen by the
International Civil Aviation Organization, and any new standards
should be decided by ICAO."
concerns were echoed in a letter NBAA and a number of other
aviation organizations recently sent to House lawmakers strongly
opposing the EU-ETS. The letter notes: "In September 2010, the
International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Triennial
Assembly agreed to an action plan to address aviation emissions,
including efficiency targets and principles to govern future
activities. In doing so, ICAO recognized that unilateral
emissions schemes like the EU ETS undermine the need for a
global solution for a global industry."
program is slated to go into effect January 1, 2012. It charges
a carbon tax on all aircraft operations overflying or landing in
a European Union Country. Under the plan, the amount of tax to
be paid by flight operators would depend on the type of aircraft
and the total distance flown.
The legislation passed by the House yesterday was introduced earlier this year by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-7-FL), Full Committee Ranking Democrat Nick J. Rahall (D-3-WV), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-6-WI), Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Jerry Costello (D-IL), Aviation Subcommittee Vice-Chair Chip Cravaack (R-8-MN), and other Members of the House. The bill passed the House by voice vote.
On Tuesday the European Union stated regardless of the U.S House of Representatives vote against an emissions cap-and-trade program on airlines flying to and from Europe they will enforce their new emissions law which will go into effect January 1, 2012. The EU emission program will include all airlines flying to and from its 27 member countries. "We do not intend to modify our adopted legislation (but) the commission is of course open to discuss other partners' concerns on how we will implement our legislation," said Isaac Valero-Ladron, spokesman for the EU's climate agency.
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