Airlines For America president and CEO Nicholas E. Calio, whose group represents leading U.S. airlines, said the "illegal" EU plan "amounts to little more than a cash grab for the European Union as none of the funds collected are required to be used for environmental purposes."
The association said the U.S. airline industry has already invested in new and more fuel-efficient aircraft, and that in 2011 U.S. airlines carried 16 percent more traffic than in 2000 while using 2.3 billion fewer gallons (8.71 billion fewer liters) of fuel.
The Obama administration has joined Congress in opposing the EU emissions program. Susan Kurland, Transportation Department assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs, said at a Transportation Committee hearing last year that the administration strongly objected, "on legal and policy grounds, to the proposed unilateral imposition" of the program on foreign operators. "This is the wrong way to pursue the right objective."
McCaskill urged Obama to sign the bill. "It's good that the EU has seen the writing on the wall," she said, "but it's important for the United States to act and show European governments that we oppose this misguided proposal."
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