Congress gives airlines bailout, allows aviation pollution to continue to rise
EDF statement by Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President
March 25, 2020
Raul Arce Contreras, (212) 616-1428, [email protected]
Today the US Senate struck a deal on a stimulus package that includes $ 50 billion in airline loans and subsidies, but leaves out language that would have compelled airlines – which emit so much climate pollution that the entire German economy each year – to limit harmful emissions. domestic flights.
“As our country faces the onslaught of the coronavirus, we need swift action to protect our health and our economy. But Congress must ensure that federal business aid does not make the climate crisis worse for our children by increasing pollution. Unfortunately, big business and their supporters in Congress have thwarted an effort to invest in a cleaner, safer world by reducing airline pollution.
“Taxpayers, many of whom are now in financial difficulty, have a right to expect responsible behavior from businesses in return for these bailouts. Instead, taxpayers will pay twice – once now to the airlines, and later in the form of tens of billions of dollars in additional damage from climate change.
“If there is one bright spot, it is that while the requirements to reduce climate pollution were ultimately not incorporated into the bill, they were a top priority for senior members of Congress. This is testament to the growing number of concerned citizens and voters who have made it clear that the climate crisis must be a top priority for our government.
“Despite growing public awareness and warnings from scientists, our government has failed to take strong action on climate change. It is a repeat of the mistakes that led to the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic. It is time for our leaders to get the facts, listen to the scientists, and take action against the dangers facing our economy and our society. In the coming weeks, as Congress continues to respond to the current health crisis, it must do so in a way that also protects the next generation from the ongoing climate crisis. ”
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