US Select Committee to hold hearing tomorrow to examine aviation's impact on global warming
Tue 1 Apr 2008 - The US House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is holding a hearing tomorrow, April 2, titled ‘From the Wright Brothers to the Right Solutions: Curbing Soaring Aviation Emissions’. Under cross-examination will be representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), the US Air Transport Association (ATA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Interested parties may follow the proceedings on a live webcast from 1.30pm Eastern Standard Time through the Committee’s website home page www.globalwarming.house.gov (click on relevant box in top-right-hand corner).
In a press statement, the Committee issued this backdrop to the hearing:
“As Congress examines all causes and impacts of heat-trapping emissions, the Select Committee is assessing aviation’s present contribution to greenhouse gases and the potential to curb such emissions in the future. Aviation emissions generate 12 per cent of US transportation carbon dioxide emissions and three per cent of the United States’ total carbon dioxide emissions. The FAA estimates that demand for passenger and cargo aviation in the United States will double or triple by 2025. As the European Union is poised to extend its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to all airlines, it is imperative for Congress to consider how aviation can contribute to or curb heat-trapping emissions through operations, technology and fuel.”
Witnesses attending the hearing include:
·Daniel Elwell, FAA Assistant Administrator for Aviation Policy, Planning and Environment;
·Bob Meyers, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, US Environmental Protection Agency;
·Tom Windmuller, Senior Vice President, International Air Transport Association: and
·James May, President and CEO, Air Transport Association.
Chaired by Rep. Edward J. Markey, the cross-party House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was formed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “to increase the visibility and priority given to America’s oil dependence and global warming challenges”.
The hearing takes place at a time of mounting pressure on the United States government, both domestically and from Europe, to act on curbing aviation emissions. Just two weeks ago, the European Commission’s Transport Commissioner, Jacques Barrot, demanded the US enters its airlines into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2012 or set up its own cap-and-trade system. A failure to do so, he said, would hamper negotiations on the second phase of the ‘open skies’ agreement between the US and Europe. The treaty, which liberalizes air travel between the two, came into effect from March 30.