By Kristofor Hustead
A bill making it illegal for U.S. airlines to pay a European tax passed unanimously through the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is a key sponsor of the measure.
The E.U. Emissions Trading System requires airlines pay a tax to cover the carbon emissions for the entire duration of a flight that either departs from or lands in the E.U. That means that any plane heading from the U.S. to Europe, or vice versa, is taxed on airspace over international waters and even over U.S. land.
McCaskill told reporters Wednesday that the E.U. has no right to tax airspace it doesn't own.
"It is really an over reach from the European Union, and one we need to stop immediately," said McCaskill.
McCaskill has teamed up with Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota to push the new legislation through the Senate. It's already passed through the House. Several other countries including China, India and Russia also oppose the tax. That tax is one part of the E.U.'s plan to cut carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020.
In other news, McCaskill said that she and her team are working closely with Homeland Security to find a legal waiver that would allow Lauren Gray to remain in the country. 20-year old Gray is a British citizen and Missouri resident. On her 21stbirthday next week she will be considered an illegal immigrant despite having lived in the U.S. since she was four.