Congresswoman Corrine Brown joined Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica and several of her colleagues in meetings with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) leadership and ICAO member countries this morning to discuss the European Union's aviation Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
"This is an unnecessarily costly plan that would impose new taxes on emissions on the United States' and other nations' air carriers flying into and out of the European Union," said Congresswoman Brown. The delegation met with top ICAO leaders, including ICAO's U.S. Representative, Ambassador Duane Woerth; President of the Council, Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez; Secretary General Raymond Benjamin; other ICAO delegates, representatives of the United Kingdom and the EU, and other officials. ICAO is the primary organization that sets international aviation standards.
"If imposed, this unfair tax could have an extremely detrimental effect on numerous U.S. airports and airlines," continued the Congresswoman. Under the EU's plan, flights into or out of an EU airport, regardless of the flight's length, would be subject to the program's emissions cap and trade requirements. U.S. airlines would be required to pay an emissions tax to the EU Member State to which they most frequently fly, without any requirements that EU countries use these fees in emissions reduction efforts. The United States Government and Congress continue to object to the forced participation in the EU's plan.
The Air Transport Association testified that this scheme would cost U.S. airlines more than $3.1 billion between 2012 and 2020, which could be used to support over 39,200 U.S. airline jobs. Moreover, these costs could double if the cost of carbon allowances in Europe returns to where it was within the past two years, in which case more than 78,500 U.S. airline jobs could have been supported. "In addition to the plan's inherent unfairness, this is certainly not the time to be exacerbating the world's precarious economic situation by imposing these regulations," continued the Congresswoman.
While in Montreal, Congresswoman Brown also met with the CEO of the Canadian National Railroad to discuss its operations in the United States, as well as various best operational practices that could be used by other Class 1 railroads in an effort to make their operations more efficient.
Tomorrow, Congresswoman Brown will be meeting with representatives from TransCanada and the Canadian environmental community to discuss the safety, operational, and job creation aspects of the Keystone XL Pipeline. All of the Congresswoman's meetings have focused on creating or preventing the loss of jobs in the United States.