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UNION PENSIONS - IVAN OSORIO
On February 1, American Airlines—which declared bankruptcy last November—announced plans to end defined benefit pensions as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring plan. If approved by bankruptcy court, the airline would turn over its defined benefit pension plans to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federally chartered agency that insures private sector pensions. Offloading pension liabilities would help American Airlines’ restructuring efforts, but it would place enormous strain on the PBGC, which last year reported a $26 billion deficit. If the agency takes on American Airlines’ pensions, that deficit could grow to $35 billion.
AIRLINE CARBON TAXES - MARC SCRIBNER
On Tuesday and Wednesday, representatives from 23 nations gathered in Moscow to discuss their response to the European Union’s mandatory airline carbon taxes. CEI’s Fran Smith has covered this story here and here. Based on the contents of the joint letter that came out of the Moscow meetings this week, the EU (and the airline traveler) is in for a world of pain. Unless the EU backs down, this will likely turn into a trade war. China is already forbidding that its airlines pay carbon fees to the EU Emissions Trading System, and they have threatened in the past to impose either high tariffs or outright landing bans on EU airlines. See the attached list of possible actions being considered against the EU.
CEI PODCAST for February 23, 2012: Global Warming and Mass Movements
In 1841, the Scottish writer Charles Mackay observed, ” the cup of life is not bitter enough to our palate, and we distill superfluous poison to put into it, or conjure up hideous things to frighten ourselves at, which would never exist if we did not make them.” CEI Warren Brookes Fellow Matt Patterson believes this glass-half-empty aspect of human nature applies directly to today’s global warming debate.
HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT HOUR
Saturday, March 31 HAH is an annual event to recognize and celebrate human achievement and innovation. During the hour, participants are asked to listen to music, surf the internet, have a glass of beer, and generally enjoy the fruits of the human mind which would not have been possible in a world where conservation restrains advancement. HAH can be celebrated anywhere from 8:30pm to 9:30pm. In addition, CEI will be hosting a celebration at our headquarters  in Washington, DC and live streaming our event online. Join the HAH Facebook group.