Administration says no to EU Carbon Tax on Airline Flights to Europe
President Barack Obama signed a bill on Tuesday shielding US airlines from paying for the carbon their planes flying into and out of Europe emit, despite a recent move by Europe to suspend its proposed measure for one year.
The carbon fee bill was the first piece of legislation debated on the House floor after Congress returned from recess on November 13, and had been cleared by the Senate in September in a rare unanimous vote.
It directs the US transportation secretary to shield US airlines from Europe's carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) if he or she deems it necessary.
Lawyers have said the bill is an unusual piece of legislation because it would prevent US companies from complying with the laws of another country.
"It never made a bit of sense for European governments to tax our citizens for flying over our own airspace — and with the passage of this law we've got the tools we need to prevent it from happening and protect American jobs," said Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, a co-author of the bill.
The House passed the bill despite the announcement on Monday that the European Union would "stop the clock" on enforcing its law for one year.
American Airlines airliner image via Shutterstock.
Read more at Airwise.