At a May 6, 2008, hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Aviation, the FAA sought to dispel several "myths" concerning the effect that aircraft emissions of greenhouse gases have on the environment. Coming a little over one month after the EPA announced its plans to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for aircraft emissions of GHG (see, "EPA Plans to Release an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Emissions" below), Daniel K. Elwell, Assistant Administrator, Office of Aviation Policy, Planning and Environment, testified that there were three myths that needed to be put to rest. First, Mr. Elwell stated that aircraft emissions account for only 3% of GHG emissions, and “the largest aviation market in the world is burning less fuel today than in 2000.” Indeed, Mr. Elwell, said, aviation in general and aircraft in particular are becoming more fuel efficient, now outstripping automobiles in terms of energy intensity – that is automobiles burn more BTUs per passenger mile than aircraft. This increase in fuel efficiency and the attend reduction in GHG emissions was one of the primary themes of several other witnesses as well:
- Bill Glover, Managing Director, Environmental Strategy, Boeing Commercial Airplanes;
- James C. May, President and CEO, Air Transport Association of America, Inc.;
- Douglas E. Lavin, Regional Vice-President (North America), International Air Transport Association; and
- James K. Coyne, President, National Air Transportation Association.
Second, Mr. Elwell stated that CO2 emissions by aircraft at altitude do not have any more (or any
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