Proposed US climate change legislation gets mixed reaction

14.5.2010 (Air Cargo World)

US senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have announced the American Power Act
– climate change legislation they say will create jobs and achieve energy security
while reducing carbon pollution by 17% in 2020 and by over 80% in 2050.

In a statement the senators said: “The American Power Act will transform our
economy, set us on the path toward energy independence and improve the quality
of the air we breathe. It will create millions of good jobs that cannot be shipped
abroad and it will launch America into a position of leadership in the global
clean energy economy.

“Our approach sets an achievable national pollution reduction target and refunds
the money raised right back to American consumers and businesses. This is not
a plan that enriches Wall Street speculators. And this is certainly not a plan
to grow the government.”

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) responded: “ATA is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the bill.
 It is important to recognize that the US airline industry has adopted a set of
targets and measures as part of the worldwide aviation industry commitment to
a global sectoral approach on aviation emissions. Through this, the US airlines
alone will save more than 16 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions through
2050 on top of substantial savings already achieved," said ATA president and CEO
James May.   "We trust that if Congress pursues this legislation, it will adopt
this approach versus imposing punitive industry and passenger taxes."

The American Trucking Association, with 37,000 members throughout the US, said
it could not support the proposed legislation because “it will raise the cost
of gasoline and diesel fuel without significantly reducing the output of carbon
dioxide by the trucking industry, which is a non-discretionary user of diesel

Speaking at the recent IATA Cargo Network Services conference in Miami, US Airforwarders
Association executive director Brandon Fried warned delegates that the proposed
legislation will have a greater business impact than the 100% air cargo security
screening mandate.



see also

Page 319 of

Discussion draft of the American Power Act:


 ‘‘(1) SENSE OF THE SENATE.—It is the sense  of Senate that the United States

‘‘(A) 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 aviation
sector and treats   commercial aviation sectors in all countries fairly; and  

 ‘‘(B) work with foreign governments toward a global agreement that reconciles
foreign  carbon emission reduction programs to minimize duplicative measures and
avoids unnecessary complication for the aviation industry,  while still achieving
measurable, reportable, and   verifiable environmental objectives.


‘‘(2) DEFINITIONS.—In this subsection:

 ‘‘(A) ADMINISTRATORS.—The term ‘Administrators’ means the Administrators of
the   Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration.


 ‘air carrier’, ‘foreign air carrier’, and ‘foreign    air transportation’ have
the meanings given the    terms in section 40102 of title 49, United    States Code.

 ‘‘(3) ESTABLISHMENT OF DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM.—The Administrator, in consultation
with the  Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, may establish a
program to distribute compensatory allowances as appropriate for the greenhouse  gas
emissions of the fuel used for an air carrier or    foreign air carrier engaged
in foreign air transportation, subject to the requirements of this sub-section.

120    days after the end of each of calendar years 2013   through 2050, the Administrators,
in consultation

with the Secretary of State, may jointly determine  and distribute a quantity
of compensatory allowances to any entity to the extent that the entity purchased
fuel in the United States during the previous  calendar year for the purpose of
engaging in foreign   air transportation that originates in the United  States,

 ‘‘(A) the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrators, has determined
that the foreign air transportation in question  is covered by a foreign or international
system  designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

 ‘‘(B) allowances or offset credits were retired by the Administrator for the
attributable  greenhouse gas emissions of the fuel; and

 ‘‘(C) the compensatory allowances would  compensate, in whole or part, for the
costs of  complying with the foreign or international system.


 ‘‘(A) SOURCE OF ALLOWANCES.—Compensatory allowances established under this subsection
shall not be emission allowances established under subsection (a).

 ‘‘(B) IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS.—The Administrator shall assign to each compensatory
allowance established under subparagraph (A) a unique identification number.

later than 2 years after the date of promulgation of regulations to carry out
the program under paragraph (3), and biennially thereafter, the Administrators
shall complete and submit to Congress a study of the extent to which Federal regulations
are effectively and efficiently regulating the emission of greenhouse gases by
air carriers and foreign air carriers engaged in foreign air transportation that
originates in the United States.

18 ‘‘(B) RECOMMENDATIONS.—The study shall include recommendations of the Administrators,
as appropriate, to address ways to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of
the regulations, including whether any changes to the program established under
this subsection should be made.

and Page 573



 The Administrator, after notice and opportunity for public comment, and in consultation
with the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration or the Administrator
of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, may allocate withheld allowances
for the production and consumption of class II, group II substances solely for
aviation and space flight safety purposes.