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U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont.) have introduced the latest in a series of Democratic bills that attempt to create a market price for carbon emissions.

The Boxer-Sanders bill would charge petroleum producers and importers a fee of $20 per ton of carbon the first year the law went into effect; afterwards the cost would rise by 5.6 percent annually for the next decade.

Like other fuel-dependent industries, aviation is not named specifically in the bill. But Nancy Young, vice president of environmental affairs for Airlines for America, said it would still function as an “exorbitant jet fuel tax,” telling POLITICO that aviation fuel providers will essentially tack the fee on to the price of jet fuel.

In terms of aviation’s global climate impact, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, aviation contributes approx. 2 percent of global carbon dioxide. The industry’s total climate footprint, when taking account other things aircraft emit or create — such as soot and water vapor — is some 3 percent globally.

Even if the Boxer-Sanders bill makes it out of the Senate, it is unlikely to gain any traction in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Posted in: Legislative News
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