By Keith Laing - 07/21/11 05:42 PM EDT
Introducing the bill to block the EU Emission Trading System, which is similar to cap-and-trade proposals that have become politically toxic in the U.S., House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said the measure was "one of the more bipartisan efforts you'll ever see in the House of Representatives."
At a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, Mica said it was important lawmakers act quickly before the new requirements for U.S. airlines began in 2012.
"I can't think of a more … unjust scheme," he said Wednesday. "At a time when aviation is already hurt by the economy and rising fuel costs, emissions trading could be a serious blow."
The ranking Democrat on the panel, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W. Va.), agreed.
"The European Union plan to unilaterally thrust an emissions trading scheme upon U.S. airlines in violation of international agreements and laws," Rahall said. "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."
However, 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," he said.