No one imagines that Springfield, Ill., can tax the citizens of Springfield, Mass. And neither of them can tax everyone in the United States. Yet the European Union believes that it can impose a levy — dressed up as an environmental benefit — on airlines that fly in the United States and in every other non-European nation.
The EU Emissions Trading System violates every accepted norm of international law. The Obama administration, bipartisan leaders in Congress and all non-European countries, including China and Russia, have denounced the system as unfair and unwise. They see it, correctly, as a money grab by revenue-starved European governments that will not even promise to fund environmental protection with the billions of dollars they plan to collect.