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Repelling Europe's Advances

Last night, the House came together in a rare moment of bi-partisanship and patriotic unity by firmly and unequivocally telling the European Union what they can do with the new environmental laws they've decided to pass on the United States. Apparently, the EU forgot that they don't actually have the authority to regulate non-EU countries which have decided to retain their full sovereignty.

The EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) has said that, starting next year, it will charge U.S. aircraft for carbon emissions whenever they land or take off in Europe.

The House responded decisively.

The lower chamber approved H.R. 2594 by unanimous consent after a brief debate in which most Republicans and Democrats said they reject the ETS as an extra-territorial plan to fine American aircraft that was imposed without any input from the U.S.

Of course, a few Democrats [surprise: Massachusetts and California Democrats] couldn't help but oppose U.S. sovereignty and economic interests in support of hysterical environmentalism and ever-expanding internationalism. But that's to be expected from the far left. The EU "tax grab" is estimated to cost 78,500 American jobs if implemented - a small price for the accomplishment of foisting EU-style climate-change legislation on the U.S. 

Then again, many in the bi-partisan majority were likely scrambling to save 78,000 jobs rather than standing on principle in their vote. Multi-national regulations aren't a simple matter to unravel - they depend on government-ratified treaties and indecipherable bilateral agreements. But the EU seems to have neglected that multi-national regulations require multiple nations. Eurocrats have become a bit drunk on their heady draught of super-national supremacy in the EU. One hopes the U.S. continues to have the fortitude to check their untoward advanced.

If this is a case of European over-reach, as I expect, the U.S. should fight fire with fire. If the Europeans turn out to be within their authority, leadership will be required to revisit the license granted to foreign nations in our treaty agreements.

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Discussions - 4 Comments

I'm not sure I see the logic of taking exception to this. Why can't the EU assess a "fee" on all (including US) aircraft landing at or departing from airports in the EU? And if the fee is linked to a carbon emissions, so what. They already charge fees tied to the services required by the aircraft. The airlines can (or will) pass these fees on to their customers. This will just become another example of government raising the cost of some consumer good tied to what should be non existent fears of man-made climate change - with the EU carbon trading system taking pride of place.

That seems like a good question Jim.

I would think the EU could just put a carbon tax on all jet fuel.

It is also unclear why taking action to save 78k jobs (certainly an estimate, and probably on the high side). would not be a principled stand to take as a legistlator.

After all legistlators are always articulating positive stands on jobs and unemployment, impliedly making this a principle or policy preference. If by no other logic than promissory estopel. All the pundits say: It's the economy! The politicians say: its the economy...we are going to save + create american jobs. If this is the case Democracy by electoral opperation makes "Jobs" into a principle, or in legal terms a strong/compelling state interest.

Justin's comment insinuating that a pro-jobs stance cannot be "principled" doesn't seem to make sense. In fact, this sort of ideological stretching of american sovereignty would reserve to "principle" only the opportunity to be quite anti-jobs, either by triggering a trade war with the EU on the right(see fight fire with fire), or being staunchly pro-environment on the left.

It has taken me time to think about this, but I think that if the EU is within their rights, then the appropriate counter-response should be to tax European airlines at three times the rate that American airlines get taxed. that might cause some reassessment. Won't happen with the "we intend to get our way by stealth" administration we have, but it's the way things should be done.

And if the EU is not within its rights, cancel the Chicago Convention. this is not frothing at the mouth. If you don't play hardball with people who play hardball with you, al you end up is getting played.

And as usual, my abilities to spell and capitalize correctly are hiding out in secret, undisclosed locations and can't be coaxed out...

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