The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) issued today the following statement in response to passage of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill:

“The nation’s airlines have an impressive environmental record and are committed to working with the administration to address climate change, but we have strong concerns about the Waxman-Markey bill and its punitive one-size-fits-all approach,” said ATA president and CEO James C. May. “This cap-and-trade bill creates an onerous fuel tax on the airline industry.”

“Fuel costs will skyrocket, hindering the ability of US airlines to continue to improve their environmental performance through fleet modernization and technological advances, weakening their ability to compete in the global markets,” added ATA.

While seeking to impose these onerous new taxes, congress also appears to recognize that this is the wrong approach to follow when it comes to aviation, since elsewhere in the same legislation, congress recognizes the unique nature of global aviation. Language offered by Congressman Rick Larsen and included in the Waxman-Markey bill states that the United States should:

– continue to actively promote, within the International Civil Aviation Organization, the development of a global framework for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from civil aircraft that recognizes the uniquely international nature of the industry and treats commercial aviation industries in all countries fairly; and

– work with foreign governments towards a global agreement that reconciles foreign carbon emissions reduction programs to minimize duplicative requirements and avoid unnecessary complication for the aviation industry, while still achieving the environmental goals.

“These conflicting views in the Waxman-Markey legislation indicate clearly that, at least as to aviation, far more work needs to be done to construct the right approach to dealing with climate change. What we have now just does not make sense.”