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Sat, Jun 30, 2012

EU-ETS Addressed In House Amendment To Transportation Bill

Would Prevent DOT, FAA From Using Funds To Impose European Tax On U.S. Airlines

The House late Wednesday approved an amendment to the FY13 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that would prevent the Department of Transportation and the FAA 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).

The move was applauded by Airlines For America (A4A). In a news release,  A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio thanked 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.

"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," he said.

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.



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