This week the House passed S.1956, the "European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011" by voice vote. This legislation prohibits U.S. airlines, like Georgia's own Delta Airlines, from being forced to participate in the European Union's (EU) carbon emissions trading scheme. While it is certainly the right of all nations to govern their airspace as they see fit, the EU emissions trading system essentially taxes airlines for emissions made outside EU airspace. Such regulations are a clear encroachment on the sovereignty of other nations and in violation of numerous international treaties to which the United States and the EU member states are signatories.
The Senate also passed S.1956 unanimously, signifying the broad, bi-partisan support for standing up for U.S. sovereignty, as well as the financial well being of U.S. airlines. The bill has already made a difference, though it has yet to be signed by the President. Knowing that the House would soon vote on S.1956, the EU commissioner in charge of the emissions scheme announced a one year delay in implementing the system. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to counter this bold attempt by the EU to undermine our national sovereignty and damage our airline industry.