The House passed a somewhat tougher bill last October. The final version will have to be sorted out when Congress resumes work after the November elections.
The measure is the latest salvo in the tug-of-war over whether American air carriers should pay what is essentially a carbon tax for flights to and from Europe under the European Emissions Trading System, which the aviation sector became a part of on Jan. 1. The regulatory framework had already applied to most other industries, including electricity providers and cement makers.
The Senate version of the bill essentially gives the secretary of transportation authority to tell airlines that they should not comply with Europe's laws on emissions payments if he deems disobedience to be in the public interest.
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