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Obama sides with airlines against European emission plan

December 02, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • President Obama signed a bill to keep airlines from paying fines on a European emissions plan.
President Obama signed a bill to keep airlines from paying fines on a European… (Getty Images )

Considering President Obama has long championed the environment, it might have been a surprise that he signed a bill last week to protect U.S. airlines from complying with a European emissions-cutting effort.
The European Union plan calls for fines on international airlines that exceed emission limits when flying in and out of Europe. The U.S. airline industry, which has loudly opposed the plan, cheered Obama’s support for legislation to protect them from paying the fines.

Environmentalists were not so happy.

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“So far the reelected President Obama climate policies look EXACTLY as those in the first term. Wonder when we will see the announced change?” Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s commissioner for climate action, said in a Twitter message.

But Obama’s support may be moot. Under pressure from other countries, including China, the European Union last month temporarily suspended the emissions-cutting plan for airlines.

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin

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