A4A Commends U.S. House for Taking Further Action to Protect U.S. Airlines and Their Passengers from Unlawful EU Emissions Trading Scheme
WASHINGTON, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today commended the U.S. House of Representatives and its leadership for taking further action last night to protect U.S. airlines and their customers from participating in the illegal European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which would tax the emissions of airlines that arrive to, from or within the EU covering the duration of the flight, including portions flown over international waters and originating countries such as the United States.
The House approved an amendment to the FY13 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that would prevent the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration from using funds to impose the EU ETS on U.S. airlines. This action follows the House approval of bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2594) last fall that would require the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U.S. airlines from participating in the EU ETS. A similar bipartisan bill also has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
“We commend Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica and Ranking Member Nick Rahall, and the House leadership for taking further action to protect U.S. airlines and our customers from this unlawful tax that is an egregious regulatory overreach, a violation of U.S. sovereignty and a clear cash grab to offset European debt,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We appreciate the House recognizing that this unilateral approach is wrong and will do nothing to improve the environment; we urge the Senate to take similar action, and we also encourage the Administration to file a legal challenge, forcing the EU to work toward a global sectoral approach through the International Civil Aviation Organization.”
Calio said U.S. airlines are committed to building on their impressive environmental records. Today, commercial aviation accounts for just 2 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions while driving more than 5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. By investing billions of dollars in fuel-saving aircraft and engines, innovative technologies and advanced avionics, the U.S. airline industry improved its fuel efficiency by 120 percent between 1978 and 2011, resulting in emissions savings equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road each of those years.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and follow us on Twitter @airlinesdotorg.
SOURCE Airlines for America