President Obama Opts Out of E.U. Aviation Fees

Photo by thatsabigif. Some rights reserved.

Hot on the heels of his re-election, President Obama signed a bill Tuesday (one that had no trouble getting through the Senate and then the House earlier this year) that would exempt the U.S. (and more pointedly, its airlines) from a carbon tax for planes flying in and out of Europe. The carbon fees were first proposed by the E.U. in 2006 and adopted by the European Parliament in 2008, however the plan was delayed by the EU itself earlier this month, hoping that a year delay would give time for “a global agreement on aviation emissions.”

The legislation itself operates much like other carbon credits-based trading plans, where airlines would receive trade-able credits that would cover certain amounts of CO2 emissions per year, and any additional emissions would result in the mandatory purchase of more credits. The idea, as is most likely apparent, is to promote more efficient, less environmentally-damaging air travel by imposing taxes that are of low cost to the consumer.

The White House has thus far been quiet in their response to the bill exempting the U.S. from the carbon fees, though the industry group Airlines for America has said that “Obama’s signature will allow carriers to reduce emissions through international agreements.”

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