Press releases

WASHINGTON – Today Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in announcing a historic bipartisan agreement to include the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act in the government funding bill.

More than ever, foreign competition demands we protect American jobs by keeping the U.S. competitive in global industry. Investing in next-generation refrigerants will create thousands of jobs, save billions of dollars and safeguard the environment, all of which matter deeply to Louisianians. I’m grateful to have worked with Chairman Barrasso and Sen. Carper to champion the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act and bring American production into the future,” said Kennedy.

“HFC chemicals are in every home – from our cars, to our air conditioners. The emissions from the use of these chemicals contribute to climate change. This agreement will authorize a 15-year phase down of their use, while safeguarding consumers and American manufacturers,” said Barrasso.

“Inside nearly every home in this country are hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases used as coolants in air conditioning and refrigerators. The cruel irony is that, while HFCs keep our homes cool and our groceries cold, they heat up our planet. With a global warming effect that is thousands of times more potent than carbon, HFCs are slowly destroying our planet. Fortunately, there is a solution – one that would have huge economic benefits for our country. For years, Senator Kennedy and I have been working to pass legislation that would put American workers and industries in the driver’s seat of the global phasedown of these super-polluting chemicals. By implementing a national phasedown of HFCs, we can reap close to $39 billion in economic benefits while creating tens of thousands of new jobs. I thank Senator Kennedy for being such a good partner on this legislation and thank Chairman Barrasso for his work to help us to find a compromise that can get this bill across the finish line. Thanks to all our efforts, Congress is now on the cusp of passing the most significant climate solution in more than a decade, and American workers and families will reap the benefits for decades more to come,” said Carper.

The appropriations package will now include, for the first time, a provision for a 15-year phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at a national level, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The amendment is based on Kennedy’s AIM Act and requires EPA to implement an 85 percent phase down of the production and consumption of HFCs, so they reach approximately 15 percent of their 2011-2013 average annual levels by 2036.

The legislative language matches the agreement reached earlier this year by Kennedy, Barrasso and Carper to protect critical uses of HFCs.