Airlines Should Resist Bowing to Big Government

by David Bier on July 28, 2011

Recently in Reuters, Peter Goldmark  vilified U.S. airlines for hiring lobbyists to fight EU emissions regulations.  He argued that airlines should willingly accept the new rules because they’re “modest” and compliance is “flexible.”

This is nonsense. Bowing to government threats and regulations is an open-door for more.  To wit, the U.S. airline industry “compromised” with the European Union and agreed to monitor greenhouse gas emissions on international flights.  Now the EU is forcing the industry to compromise further: Starting in January 2012, all airlines that operate flights into and out of European airports must participate in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, a cap-and-trade energy-rationing policy. This immodest regulation will jeopardize business by raising the cost of international travel. It’s also likely a violation of international law. The airlines can and should fight back.

If any message is to be taken from the car industry’s recent experience with fuel standards, it’s that the slope to bigger government may initially look like a bunny hill, but there’s always a black diamond around the corner.

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