US House passes bill to shield airlines from EU carbon fees

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:55pm EST

WASHINGTON Nov 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to bar airlines from complying with a European Union law that would force them to pay for their carbon emissions one day after the EU offered to stop the clock on enforcing the measure.

The bill, which was the first piece of legislation to be debated on the House floor after a pre-election recess, directs the transportation secretary to decide to shield U.S. airlines from Europe's carbon emissions trading system if he deems it necessary.

The EU said on Monday it would "stop the clock" on enforcing its law to create a positive atmosphere for international talks on an alternative global plan to tackle airline emissions.

"We are notifying the EU that we are not going to support the scheme and in fact we want a ... long term solution but we will not allow the United States to be held hostage," said Representative John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

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