Hultgren: European Court’s Decision On Carbon Tax Is Heavy-Handed, Harmful To U.S. Airlines

From the office of Rep. Randy Hultgren (R, Illinois 14th District)…

Geneva, IL – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today released the following statement after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favor of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and its application to all airlines flying to and from the EU. Airlines flying to or from the EU would be required to buy permits under the ETS, an emissions tax that will cost U.S. air carriers an estimated $3.1 billion between 2012 and 2020.

“Today’s decision by the European Court of Justice is heavy-handed and harmful to U.S. airlines,” said Hultgren, a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “The EU’s unilateral decision to levy a new tax on airlines raises the real specter of a trans-Atlantic trade war; in lieu of their arrogant decision the ECJ should have referred this matter to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the proper venue for this issue.”

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood sent a letter to EU officials, expressing their concern over the ETS tax, and stating that the United States will be “compelled to take appropriate action” should the EU seek to impose the ETS tax.

“I applaud Secretary Clinton and Secretary LaHood’s leadership on this important issue; their efforts complement legislative initiatives underway in Congress, and enable us to state unanimously that the EU’s ETS is harmful to U.S. airlines. I look forward to continuing the fight on this important issue when Congress returns to Washington.”

In October, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2594, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011. The bill would prohibit U.S. airlines from paying the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), an emissions tax set to be introduced next year. Congressman Hultgren was an original cosponsor of H.R. 2594.

In March, Congressman Hultgren succeeded in having language similar to H.R. 2594 included in an amendment to H.R. 658, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, which passed the House by a vote of 223-196 on April 1.

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