Jake Schmidt, a director at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), does not want you to look behind the curtain of the environmental lobby.
In a recent article in the Huffington Post, the fringe group leader attempts to hide legitimate policy behind the cloak of a bailout. Mr. Schmidt takes exception to a Senate bill that would reinforce U.S. sovereign air control – calling it a "bailout" for the airline industry.
You see, by trying to frame it as a bailout, the NRDC hopes to confuse and – ultimately – provide political cover for the Obama administration to allow decades of international law to fall to the sidelines.
The bill stems from a European regulation that runs against decades of international precedent, infringing on the way that countries control their own air space. European regulators – arguably, and this isn’t a complement, the best in the business – ignored that precedent in an effort to impose their judgment on trading partners. That’s not how trade and commerce works, and it is only right that Congress steps in to protect American business.
But that’s not what fringe environmental groups would like to see. Instead, they subscribe to a “by any means necessary” approach to passing burdensome regulations. Going through the proper channels – in this case, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a branch of the UN – would show just how flawed the plan is and how resistant the international community is to ceding control of their airspace to Europe.
The House has passed its own bill that will prohibit the EU’s tax from taking effect.
Meanwhile, the administration’s outspokenness with Europe’s tax on U.S. businesses is now silent. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has noted in the past that the EU’s proposal was “lousy,” further warning the Europeans to not “assume we're all just going to go along with it.” But, with pressure mounting from fringe environmental groups, not a peep has been heard from Secretary LaHood or any Obama official.
In that absence, it’s time for the Senate to speak up and tell Europe it can’t tax domestic airlines in U.S. airspace.