Air Transport Association leads coalition in call for solutions to energy crisis


WASHINGTON, DC – The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the major US airlines, today launched a broad coalition effort urging Congress to immediately find bipartisan solutions to the worldwide surge in oil prices and decline in the US economy. ATA is joined by key industries, labor and consumer groups in this initiative.

In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), the coalition urged immediate action, through either the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or Congress, to ensure meaningful reforms are put in place to restore market integrity.

“This country needs a fair, transparent and balanced energy commodities market, not one that is skewed to benefit speculators and institutional investors,” the coalition wrote.

While specific measures should be carefully drafted to avoid unintended consequences, the coalition identified three priority steps, the first being to close all loopholes, including the “Enron Loophole” and “Swaps Loophole,” that allow institutional investors to avoid limits on the size of their investments. Second, we need to ensure that all energy traders, including those trading on foreign boards of trade, are subject to the limits imposed on US exchanges, and finally that there is a need to increase margin requirements and impose appropriate disclosure/financial requirements on institutional investors.

ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all US airline passenger and cargo traffic.