Aviation Omitted from House Cap-and-Trade Bill

 - June 30, 2009, 11:36 AM

A last-minute revision to legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday removed a requirement to set new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for aircraft, potentially saving the U.S. commercial and business aviation industry billions of dollars between now and 2050. H.R.2454 would have called for business aviation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to be cut by one third as early as 2012 and by 90 percent by 2050. However, a report issued earlier this month by the Government Accountability Office reported that aviation accounts for only 2 percent of total human-generated CO2 and, even with the aggressive application of new and more efficient technologies, it is “unlikely” that aviation “would greatly reduce emissions by 2050.” However, the bill could still have an impact on oil refiners and increase the cost and affect the availability of aviation fuels. ConocoPhillips last month warned that, under the bill, “U.S. refiners will be bearing the cost for roughly one third of the nation’s GHG emissions but receiving only 2 percent of the total allowances under the current proposal.” The Senate hasn’t yet released a draft of its companion bill.