Airlines Will Be First U.S. Industry to Confront Cap and Trade
The first U.S. industry to face a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions is not, as may be expected, the coal-burning power utilities. It's not the oil refineries, churning through crude. It's not the automakers, manufacturing again.
It's the airline industry.
Sometime this month, the European Union will release a list of airlines it will regulate under its existing cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide. Beginning in 2012, all international flights landing in the region must abide by the regulations. And several airlines on that list will have a decidedly New World feel: Delta, United and American.
They are not alone. A preliminary version of the list released earlier this year included more than 700 airlines registered in the United States, out of some 2,800 airlines total. While this number is expected to dwindle -- weaning out small-scale operations -- all large U.S. carriers flying into Europe expect to be on the finalized list.