McCaskill Calls for Vigilance in Protecting Americans from Illegal European Carbon Tax
Senator’s bipartisan law gives Administration power to protect American jobs from overreaching EU tax on U.S. airlines
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and John Thune (R-S.D.), in a letter to U.S. transportation and foreign policy officials, are calling for continued progress toward a global approach to aviation emissions, and continued resistance to any unilateral, illegal taxes on U.S. air travelers by the European Union (EU).
Last year, McCaskill and Thune successfully passed bipartisan legislation to protect American consumers from the European Union’s illegal carbon tax on U.S. air travelers. The Senators are now urging that the Administration use all tools at their disposal to prevent the EU from moving forward with imposing such a tax.
In response to McCaskill and Thune’s effort, the European Union announced late last year that it would delay applying the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to the aviation industry for one year to allow time for an international agreement. In October, the United States and other delegates to the International Civil Aviation Organization () reached an agreement for a global aviation emissions program to be implemented by 2020. The international body also passed a resolution limiting the EU’s ability to impose a unilateral policy before the global agreement goes into effect. Despite these actions, EU officials have indicated they might move forward with their unilateral EU ETS policy.
“We have always believed that International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the most appropriate venue to address global aviation emissions and the final General Assembly resolution affirms this belief,” McCaskill and Thune’s letter reads. “Any provisions that allow U.S. operators and passengers to be unilaterally and illegally taxed would be a violation of both the General Assembly resolution and the directives laid out by the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011.”
EU ETS is an emissions trading program that levies a tax on U.S. airline carriers’ flights into and out of EU countries. It is related to European countries’ interest in reaching their own internal goals for carbon emissions. The EU program being considered would apply a “cap-and-trade” carbon tax system to all flights originating or landing in Europe—taxing even those emissions that occur over the United States, international waters, and elsewhere outside Europe. Remarkably, these taxes are not set aside for a specific purpose, and could be used as part of the general fund of any European Union government for virtually any purpose.
The McCaskill-Thune legislation received the support of dozens of organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and unions representing airline employees.
A copy of McCaskill and Thune’s letter is available online HERE.
Click HERE to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight to expand job opportunities.