With the European Union’s emissions trading scheme back in the news, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chose to recently re-enforce his opinion of the policy, calling it “little more than a unilateral tax-grab” during a Thursday Senate committee meeting.
Thune made the remarks during the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s “The U.S. Aviation Industry and Jobs: Keeping American Manufacturing Competitive” discussion held by the Aviation Operations, Safety and Security Subcommittee.
“In 2012, we led an effort to protect U.S. interests from this controversial tax, culminating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act, which was signed into law in November 2012,” he said. “That law required the Secretary of Transportation to hold U.S. operators of civil aircraft harmless from the EU ETS, and directed the secretary to conduct negotiations at the International Civil Aviation Organization, charting a path for a global, consensus-based approach to aviation emissions.”
European Parliament will vote on April 4
to extend the trading-scheme moratorium to the end of 2016, pending the outcome of the air-emissions discussion during ICAO’s next general assembly. The international body has pledged to create a global regulation regarding emissions to be implemented by 2020. Thune said he supports such a move by the EU, adding that such a delay to the policy would be “a positive development.”
In his opening remarks, Thune also mentioned that aviation is confronted by a host of challenges that need to be confronted.
“While it is good news that many segments of the aviation industry appear to be rebounding from the recession, the industry continues to face a number of challenges,” he said. “Fuel prices remain volatile, pressures from our international competitors are growing, and tax and regulatory burdens are drags on our global competitiveness.”