US begins ETS fight

US lawyers have hit back against the European Union’s plans to force carriers worldwide to pay for carbon emissions under its Emission Trading Scheme.

House representatives have told US passenger and cargo airlines that they will be shielded from the European law.

Members from the House discussed the matter with EU officials in Montreal (Canada), and called the initiative “a taxing scheme” and a violation of international law and trade treaties.

“We made it clear that the United States would pursue the matter,” House Transportation Committee chairman John Mica said.

European officials have yet to comment on developments in Congress.

President Obama’s administration has strong objections to inclusion of non-EU carriers in the plan, expressing dissatisfaction with the current legal process in Europe, the State Department said.

Under the law, due to take effect on 1 January pending the outcome of legal wrangling, airlines will have to buy permits under the EU’s ETS to help offset greenhouse gas pollution from jets operating within and to and from Europe.

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