“The U.S. is already working with its international partners and aviation stakeholders to develop appropriate emissions standards. The EPA must not stray from this important collaborative effort or it will damage the competitiveness of U.S. carriers and unfairly harm American travelers,” he said.

The Obama administration has launched a new front in its fight against greenhouse gas emissions, choosing as its next target the $200 billion per year commercial aviation industry.

Airplanes emit about 2 percent of the country’s carbon dioxide, and would be the fourth pollution source to be subject to greenhouse gas regulations, after vehicles, major buildings and power plants.

Republicans, already opposed to most of Obama’s environmental policies, criticized the decision to study aviation emissions as another example of regulatory overreach.

But the airline industry and manufacturers signaled optimism that the United States’ actions could lead toward international standards for planes’ emissions.

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