In January 2012, per the European Union, all airlines that fly to Europe must purchase carbon emission permits. Yes, you read that correctly. If American Airlines flies from New York to, let’s say Lisbon, when virtually none of the flight is over Europe, American must pay for a carbon permit to do so.
And, the price isn’t cheap.
The industry will face additional costs of between one and two billion euros next year depending on the price of the carbon permits. [emphasis supplied]
Of course, the industry won’t pay that cost, you, should you travel to Europe, will see your air fare increase to cover those costs. Much like raising taxes in Connecticut hasn’t exactly caused thousands to pick up roots and move to Connecticut, I doubt this plan will boost European tourism.
But, in a rare display of solidarity, the House of Representatives, by a voice vote, and with nine Democrat sponsors, approved a bill that would bar any US airline from paying the, well, I’ll call it what it is, a tax to bail out Europe.
I don’t know what happens here if a US airline pays the tax (assuming the Senate also passes the bill and the President signs it into law), but, in Europe, if it doesn’t pay the tax, it can be fined 100 euros per ton for every ton of carbon dioxide that exceeds certain limits, and could be banned from flying into Europe altogether.
How about we just let Europe recede back into the Middle Ages on its own, and not fly there at all?
Besides, the thought of oxen pulling the cart to market is very picturesque.