In a landslide vote, members of the U.S. House of Representatives have voted to prohibit U.S. carriers from participating in the European Union emissions trading scheme. The passage of H.R. 2594 on October 24 has raised the ire of numerous EU officials - especially Jo Leinen, chair of the European Parliament's environmental committee. The ETS is set to go into effect on January 1.
Blasting Congress's ruling as "arrogant and ignorant," Leinen stated that U.S. officials should respect EU legislation similarly to how EU officials respect U.S. law. He also encouraged the EU to remain steadfast in the face of adversity. "The EU should stand firm and include international aviation in EU emissions trading," Leinen stated. If the bill becomes law, he advocates retaliation.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri criticized ETS, which forces carriers utilizing European airspace to monitor their emissions and purchase carbon allowances if the flight exceeds a predetermined limit, as "unlawful and unjust."
"This appropriately named EU scheme is an arbitrary violation of international law that disadvantages U.S. air carriers and kills U.S. aviation jobs," Mica said in a statement. "The message from Congress and the U.S. government is loud and clear: The United States will not participate in this ill-advised and illegal EU program."
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