Association Reiterates Support For Global Approach To Aviation Emissions
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen testified Wednesday before a Senate committee that the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) "singles out a great American industry for discriminatory treatment." Calling the European scheme "fatally flawed," Bolen told members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that "as badly as commercial airlines are treated, non-commercial aviation is treated even worse."
As an example, he said an airline can fly from Chile to Europe twice a day using a large jetliner without being subjected to the EU-ETS because commercial carriers that operate only two flights per day to or from Europe have been deemed "small emitters," and thus are exempted from the scheme. "Yet a U.S.-based farm equipment company that flies to Europe once a year on a U.S.-built general aviation airplane will be subjected to the EU-ETS," Bolen said. "Why? Because it is a 'non-commercial' flight and the 'small-emitter' exemption is not available to 'non-commercial' operators."
"How does this make sense?" Bolen asked. "It doesn't. It's unfair and it's discriminatory."
He added that the plan also creates a costly administrative burden on U.S. business aviation that "raises serious privacy and business-confidentiality concerns, because the scheme requires U.S. companies to provide a huge amount of sensitive data, including bank account information, flight data, personal information and other disclosures—all of which would become available to the public."
Bolen noted, "These intrusive, administratively burdensome and expensive requirements are all before the actual cost of the ETS is even assessed on operators." He reminded lawmakers that business aviation is a uniquely American industry that represents thousands of U.S. businesses of all sizes, and a wide array of industries. "It is a U.S. industry that helps create jobs and spur economic development," he asserted. "It is a U.S. industry that enhances productivity and assists in humanitarian efforts. And it is a U.S. industry that connects people to the global marketplace. On behalf of this industry, I thank the members of the committee for holding this important and timely hearing, and for giving the business aviation community an opportunity to voice the concerns surrounding the EU-ETS."
NBAA has joined with 15 other organizations from across the aviation and travel industries in opposing the EU-ETS on U.S. commercial aviation and general aviation as a matter of U.S. sovereignty and international law. Along with coalition partners, NBAA argues that the appropriate forum for negotiating global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards is the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is currently in GHG discussions with member nations, including the United States.
Members of Congress also have expressed their opposition. Last year, the House passed H.R. 2594, "The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011," which bars flights originating in the U.S. from participating in the EU-ETS, works to ensure flight operators are not penalized. Similar legislation is being considered in the Senate.