Bill to block European Union from requiring US airlines to trade emissions filed

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Mica was joined Wednesday by Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), ranking Democrat Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Aviation subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-Wis.), ranking subcommittee Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) and other members of the committee.

They all agreed the EU emissions trading system was unruly.

"The European Union plan to unilaterally thrust an emissions trading scheme upon U.S. airlines in violation of international agreements and laws," Rahall said Wednesday. "To boot, this trading scheme looks more like a shell game to shuffle money around because no one can say with certainty that the money will be used for its intended purpose."

Rahall said that Democrats supporting the bill were not coming out against reducing carbon emissions completely.

"Rather, just as the Obama administration has done, we are rejecting the go-it-alone approach taken by the EU that directly infringes on the sovereignty of the United States."

Another member of the transportation committee, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), said that airplanes in the U.S. generally emit less carbon dioxide than European jets "because they're inefficient with their airspace.

"Planes circle airports longer there, so they are polluting the air," he said. "They need to get their own house in order before they try to line their pockets with the dollars of U.S. airlines."

Mica said the bill will be fast-tracked but said the measure does not yet have a companion bill in the Senate.

This post was updated at 6:50 p.m.