Fri, Nov 16, 2012
Bolen: President Obama Can Send A 'Strong Signal' To The EU
The NBAA congratulated members of Congress Wednesday following House passage of a bipartisan measure (S.1956) that would prohibit U.S.-based aircraft operators from participating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). The House previously approved a similar bill last year. The measure, entitled "The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act," was sponsored in the Senate by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO); it now awaits President Obama’s signature.
“We’re delighted that this measure has received bipartisan, bicameral support in the U.S. Congress,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Having the president’s signature on the bill will send a strong signal that America has spoken with a united voice on a topic that greatly impacts issues of trade and U.S. sovereignty.”
The EU-ETS, which is being unilaterally implemented by the 27 Member States of the European Union, requires that aircraft operators conducting any portion of a mission in EU airspace participate in a complex carbon-trading program. Each operator must purchase credits in a carbon marketplace; the amount of credits required is determined not by the distance flown within EU airspace, but rather by the distance flown from start to finish of a flight, even if it originates outside the EU. It is estimated that EU-ETS could cost the U.S. aviation industry more than $3.1 billion over the next 10 years.
“Aviation has always been a global industry, so policies governing it have always been developed through the United Nations aviation arm, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” Bolen noted. “We believe this should be the case when it comes to emissions policies for aviation.”
Earlier this week, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard announced she would seek a temporary one-year freeze of the EU-ETS implementation process until April 2014 as it pertains to some foreign flights. That process still requires the approval of the European Commission.
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