Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Rep. James Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and main proponent of a provision in the 2009 FAA Reauthorization Act which would sunset antitrust immunity for global airline alliances, defended his position before the International Aviation Club (IAC) in Washington, D.C. yesterday. According to a story from Reuters, Rep. Oberstar derided the immunized alliances as "de facto merger[s]" before asking rhetorically, "Is that what I voted for when I voted for [U.S. airline] deregulation in 1978? Hell no."
The full prepared text of Rep. Oberstar's speech is available on the IAC's website here. An independent review of the speech supplied to the blog noted that some of Rep. Oberstar's more provacative remarks are not included in the IAC text, including the aforementioned mild expletive. However, the speech is well worth reading for those wishing to gain insight on the protectionist motivations of one of Capital Hill's most influential lawmakers.