WASHINGTON, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today commended Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) because the scheme violates U.S. sovereignty and international law, and imposes an unfair and burdensome tax on U.S. airlines and consumers. The legislation also would seek to hold airlines harmless from not participating in the scheme.
Senator McCaskill is the first Democrat to co-sponsor the legislation, which was introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). The Senate bill is similar to the bipartisan legislation passed by the full House of Representatives last fall.
"Senator McCaskill's leadership in working across the aisle and co-sponsoring this important legislation sends a strong message that Congress objects to unilateral EU taxation scheme, and A4A and its members urge the administration to take similar measures," said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. "Subjecting airlines to the EU ETS will be counterproductive to helping the environment, result in the loss of U.S. jobs, and hamper the airlines' ability to invest in new aircraft and continue their extensive efforts to build on their strong environmental record."
From 2000 to 2010, U.S. airlines reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent while transporting 15 percent more passengers and cargo.
Bipartisan support of the Senate bill follows the Moscow meeting of governments, where the United States and many governments opposed the unilateral EU tax and spelled out the concrete steps they can take to overturn this scheme. The Moscow Declaration also reinforced the countries' commitment to reach a global sectoral approach at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations body charged with setting standards for international aviation.
ABOUT A4A 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.