European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Is Illegal, Says House


(c) 2011 Air Transport Association

The Air Transport Association (ATA) today commended House leaders for proposing a bill that declares the application of the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to aviation inconsistent with international law. The legislation directs the Department of Transportation to prohibit U.S. carriers from participating in the scheme while ensuring that U.S. airlines and aircraft operators are not penalized as a result.

Under the bipartisan bill, Congress finds that the EU ETS scheme undermines ongoing efforts at the International Civil Aviation Organization to develop a unified, worldwide approach to reducing aircraft greenhouse gas emissions, the ATA said. The bill calls on EU member states to work with ICAO to develop such a global approach and to withdraw the current EU scheme, scheduled to take effect in 2012.

The bill was introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), Ranking Member Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Ranking Subcommittee Member Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.).

“We commend Chairmen Mica and Petri and Ranking Members Rahall and Costello for their bipartisan leadership in joining the Administration in opposing the EU ETS scheme which is both illegal and bad policy. Subjecting airlines to the EU unilateral system will be counterproductive to the environment and will result in the loss of U.S. jobs as it siphons money away from carriers, impeding their ability to invest in new and more efficient technology,” said ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.

“The ATA and our member airlines have a strong track record of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a longstanding commitment to further improvements by leveraging operational, technological and infrastructure advancements.”

The ATA, on behalf of its member airlines, filed a lawsuit recently heard by the European Court of Justice, seeking to have the scheme declared illegal under international law. The scheme taxes U.S. carriers for emissions in the United States and over the high seas, unlawfully regulating U.S. airlines, ATA says.

The ATA lawsuit details how the unilateral EU scheme infringes on U.S. sovereignty and provides no assurance that revenues collected by European governments will be used to address aviation environmental issues.Today, commercial aviation accounts for just 2 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, ATA said.



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