June 6, 2012
Congress Must Act on Legislation to Prohibit U.S. Airlines from Participating
WASHINGTON– The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme is an “ill-advised, legally questionable job killer for U.S. airline industry employees,” said Capt. Sean Cassidy, first vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), in testimony today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
“Because the EU’s unilaterally implemented tax scheme could cost U.S. airlines billions of dollars in just the next few years, it could seriously compromise the economic viability of the U.S. airline industry and threaten the jobs of tens of thousands of workers,” Capt. Cassidy told the Senate committee members.
Underscoring that ALPA strongly supports reducing aircraft emissions, just as the airlines do, he emphasized that the solution is through investment in high-tech engines and air frames, alternative fuels, as well as NextGen procedures, not regressive tax schemes concocted by foreign governments that will harm our employers’ ability to sustain and create new jobs.
In ALPA’s testimony, the union’s first vice president thanked Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) for his leadership on this issue and encouraged all Senators to cosponsor the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011 (S. 1956), which would give the U.S. Secretary of Transportation the ability to prohibit U.S. airlines from participating in the scheme.
Highlighting the fact that airline pilots are key players in the industry’s success in safely reducing fuel burn, noise, and emissions through innovative technology, flight operations, and international cooperation, Capt. Cassidy gave examples such as use of single-engine taxiing and aspects of NextGen such as technology-enhanced departure and arrival procedures.
“The true solution to reducing emissions is pursuing the voluntary efforts I have already mentioned and creating international emissions guidelines through the International Civil Aviation Organization,” concluded Capt. Cassidy. “We urge Congress to explore every available option to support the Administration’s action to exclude U.S. airlines from this harmful and misguided scheme.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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