On Tuesday, November 13th Congress passed a Bill to protect American airline companies from facing European Union taxes. The EU’s planned to charge airline companies under their Emissions Trading Scheme. This charges airlines a certain amount of money per tonne of CO2 for a credit, and companies are allowed to buy and sell credits for money. This tax would cost airlines approximately $3 billion through 2020.
Proponents of the bill claim that the tax is unfair because it charges airlines for emissions disposed over the United State and Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the move is being viewed as less than altruist as the funds do not necessarily have to go to environmentally friendly causes. Airlines and politicians view the bill as a move in the right direction but executed poorly. Nations all over the world need to come together for a global solution, not one that the EU decides upon and forces on the rest of the world. The EU has also received backlash from Russia and China who also find the tax to be unfair.
The push towards a long-term solution to CO2 emissions continues. Aircraft designers and airlines are constantly seeking ways to produce more travel with less pollution. However despite these technological advances, environmentalist are pushing for Obama to veto the bill. They claim this will greatly reduce emissions and want Obama to use this opportunity to set an environmentally focused message in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It seems unlikely for Obama to veto the bill, most likely the EU will put the carbon tax on freeze until further chances to discuss policy come such as the meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization.