House Moves to Protect Airlines 
From EU Emissions Scheme

The U.S. Travel Association has commended the House of Representatives for passing the European Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (H.R. 2594), which prohibits U.S. aviation operators from participating in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. According to the Air Transport Association, the scheme would cost U.S. airlines more than $3.1 billion between 2012 and 2020.

“During these precarious economic times, anything done to inhibit travel will be a drag on the global economy and impede recovery,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “We join our U.S. travel industry partners – and numerous foreign countries – in supporting this bill.”

Under the EU scheme, flights into or out of an EU airport are subject to the program’s emissions cap and trade requirements, effectively levying an emissions tax on U.S. airlines. Additionally, there are no requirements that the EU Member States collecting these taxes must use the fees in emissions reduction efforts.

The EU’s scheme is opposed by the Obama Administration, aviation trade associations, airline companies, manufacturers, labor unions and members of Congress, U.S. Travel notes.

In addition to the United States, other nations have voiced opposition, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. Travel Association joined other industry groups in a letter urging Congress to support the bill.

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