By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Even before the European Union recently hit airlines with a controversial new emissions fee on international flights, carriers already were pushing to reduce their carbon footprints in a bid to save money.
Defying appeals from U.S. airlines and the Obama administration, the European Union's top court Wednesday cleared the way for a new pollution charge to be levied on all flights to the Continent, a move that could mean higher prices for trans-Atlantic fliers.
The government's $900,000 fine Monday against an American Airlines affiliate for holding hundreds of passengers on board jets for hours on an airport tarmac may serve as a deterrent to future such incidents.
Airlines from around the world that fly into and out of the European Union are fighting to overturn a new rule that would cost them billions of dollars for their carbon-dioxide emissions, not just over European skies, but during the whole trip.
"The EU has ignored the long history of significant improvements that the industry has made," Mr. Lott said. "We're well down the path of reducing our environmental footprint. I think it's important to recognize how far we've come."
"Fuel is the largest cost for any airline," said Steve Lott, a spokesman for the industry group Airlines for America. "There is a huge incentive for airlines to reduce their fuel burn and become more efficient."