I was shocked by the announcement Friday that the Air Force intends to award the contract for the next generation air refueling tankers to the Airbus/Northrop Grumman team, and I believe there will be real skepticism among the defense related committees in Congress. While we will await the debriefing of the Boeing team to learn how and why the decision was made, I remain convinced that the Boeing 767 tanker version would have been an extremely capable aircraft that would have met our military requirements while creating 40,000 U.S. jobs, including 9,000 in Washington State. This decision is even more disappointing because the Air Force had previously favored the Boeing 767 tanker and we were prepared to move forward with the production of 100 tankers in 2003, before the process was halted due to the Boeing scandal. I have been working on this project since March 2001, when Gen. John Jumper first came to me worried about the aging fleet of refueling tankers that gave U.S. fighter aircraft the worldwide reach they need. I regret that it has taken so long to respond to what was –and is-- an urgent need to replace these older aircraft. And even more regrettable is the decision to award the contract to Airbus, which has consistently used unfair European government subsidies to take jobs away from American aircraft workers.