US House committee passes bill against EU ETS

Washington DC
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The US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved a bill that will prohibit US carriers from taking part in the European Union's Emissions Trading scheme (EU ETS).

Called the EU ETS Prohibition Act of 2011, the bill was among several passed at a markup yesterday and directs the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit US airlines from taking part in the scheme.

It also instructs US officials to negotiate or take necessary action to make sure that US carriers are not penalised by any unilaterally imposed EU scheme.

The EU ETS, set to come into effect on 1 January 2012, will impose caps on carbon emissions from airlines flying into Europe and require carriers to pay emission taxes. Several countries, including the US and China, and trade associations have opposed it, saying it contravenes international laws and unfairly penalises countries from less developed countries.

"The European Union's inclusion of international civil aviation in its emissions trading scheme, including all segments of the flight whether in EU member airspace or not, is a violation of US sovereignty and international law," said the chairman of the aviation subcommittee Tom Petri.