On January 1 of 2012 the European Union will be giving air carriers the choice of reducing fuel emissions or paying additional fees. In an article in the July 28 New York Times (U.S. and Europe Battle Over Airline Carbon Fees) this choice is depicted as simple economics by EU regulators and as inappropriate regulation of U.S. corporations by lobbyists and the U.S. State Department.
As long as the air carriers are free to choose between the fees and reducing emissions this is simple economics. The problem appears to be the fact the U.S. airline industry isn’t prepared to do business in Europe under the new standards. The story behind the story is “What does the Air Transport Association do for its members if it is not helping them to continue to be competitive in a changing world?”