GA and the Environment

November 1, 2008

QThere has been a lot of discussion about aviation and the environment. Given that pilots are very sensitive to anything affecting the cost of flying, how would your environmental policy address these concerns?

John McCain

I don’t support the European Union proposal to include the aviation sector in a cap and trade system since it does not offer the level of compliance flexibility that I would offer under my proposal to comprehensively address global warming, the most critical environmental challenge facing the world. However, my proposal also places an emphasis mitigating the economic impact of any cap and trade regime. My proposal would initially allow for unlimited use of offsets. Economic analyses of cap and trade proposals have shown that an increased use of offsets acts to reduce compliance costs. This is consistent with my belief that the market will, if allowed, seek out the most cost-effective solutions.

Barack Obama

I believe that the changes required by the economic and security challenge of global climate change represent an opportunity for the American people to once again lead the world in innovation and job creation. I think that pilots across the country agree that our current system with rising oil prices and dwindling long-term supply is simply unsustainable, and I applaud the steps that AOPA is taking to address the long-term energy supply issue. As president, I will invest $150 billion over 10 years into developing clean energy supplies and improving our energy efficiency so that we have both more stable and cheaper energy prices in the future. I look forward to working with the general aviation community, as well as other stakeholders across America, to ensure that we swiftly transition to a clean energy economy.

Next: On the issue of homeland security, the challenge facing policymakers is finding the right balance between security, individual rights, and the economic viability of the general aviation industry. What are your views on general aviation security?