WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today commended the Senate for passage of S. 1956, which would allow the Transportation Secretary to direct U.S. airlines to not participate in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) because it violates international law and U.S. sovereignty.
"Congress has spoken—U.S. airlines should not be subjected to this illegal scheme that amounts to little more than a cash grab for the European Union as none of the funds collected are required to be used for environmental purposes," said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio, noting that the House previously passed a similar bill. "We commend Senators John Thune and Claire McCaskill for their leadership in passage of this crucial legislation that recognizes this scheme is a breach of U.S. sovereignty that actually limits our ability to build on our strong environmental record by investing in new and more fuel-efficient aircraft."
Between 1978 and 2011, U.S. airlines improved fuel efficiency by 120 percent, resulting in emissions savings equivalent to taking 22 million cars off the road each of those years. In 2011, U.S. airlines carried 16 percent more traffic than in 2000 while using 2.3 billion fewer gallons of fuel.
Calio said A4A supports a global sectoral approach to aviation climate change policy under the International Civil Aviation Organization, as do all other non-EU countries impacted by the scheme.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 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