U.S. House Passes Anti-EU Emissions Tax

 - October 25, 2011, 3:29 PM

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday against U.S. participation in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (EU-ETS), setting up an international confrontation between Western Europe and the rest of the world.

Last week, the U.S. House sent a bipartisan congressional delegation to Montreal to meet with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) leaders, EU representatives and other officials regarding the U.S. opposition to the EU-ETS, which is set to begin on January 1.

As passed by a voice vote in the House, the “European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011” (H.R.2594) bans all U.S. aircraft operators from acquiescing to EU-ETS. The bill also instructs U.S. officials to negotiate or take any action necessary to ensure that U.S. aviation operators are not penalized by any “unilaterally imposed” EU scheme.

EU-ETS would apply to flights into or out of an EU airport, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace. All aircraft operators would be required to pay an emissions tax to the EU member state to which they fly most frequently, without any requirements that EU countries even use these fees in aviation emissions reduction efforts.