Europeans Trying to Squeeze Cash Out of Airlines
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The European Union (EU) wants to slap a new carbon emissions tax on airlines that fly into their airspace. Steve Eule, Vice President at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy points out the absurdity of this:
Under the EU’s Directive, in 2012 U.S. and other foreign airlines must report emissions data and in 2013 start paying a fee based on how many tons of carbon dioxide they emit on flights to and from the EU, even from those parts of the flight that occur outside EU airspace. That can be quite a lot: On a flight from Los Angeles to London, for instance, 91% of the route is beyond the EU.
According to the International Air Transport, the aviation sector pays over $57.4 billion in taxes just to the U.S. This new tax could mean “well over $3 billion dollars through 2020” going to the EU.
If the EU’s goal is for airlines to use less fuel and reduce carbon emissions, Eule writes that there’s already an incentive:
At 30% to 40%, fuel is the largest single operating expense airlines have today, even higher than labor, and has driven tremendous efficiency gains. The international aviation industry also has approved ambitious goals of increasing the use of biofuels, improving its fuel efficiency even more, and capping its emissions after 2020.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calls the tax, “a lousy policy, a lousy law.” The House of Representatives has taken action to protect U.S. air carriers, and the Senate should do the same.