WASHINGTON — Today, Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced an amendment to the American Energy Innovation Act that would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement a phase down of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons over the next 15 years. These chemicals, known as “HFCs,” are potent greenhouse gases used primarily as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioning systems.
Identical to the senators’ American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, which is currently supported by a bipartisan group of 32 Senators—16 Republicans and 16 Democrats—this amendment would benefit U.S. industries that directly use or produce fluorocarbons and employ more than 593,000 Americans. This amendment would:
- Save American consumers $3.7 billion over 15 years;
- Increase U.S. manufacturing output by almost $39 billion over seven years; and,
- Result in the creation of 150,000 more American jobs.
“If we want to keep America competitive in global industry, we need to continue investing in alternatives to HFCs. The amendment that dozens of my colleagues have cosponsored would save billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs—all while we protect the environment. Business and environmental groups support the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act. If we give up the chance to move this amendment forward, America is going to look up in a few years and be the odd man out of the economic success that comes from transitioning away from HFCs,” said Kennedy.
“American companies have invested billions of dollars to produce and sell the next-generation technologies to replace HFCs. Our bipartisan amendment protects and builds upon these investments, and it would result in 150,000 new American jobs and almost $39 billion in annual economic benefits. At the same time, joining the rest of the global community in reducing HFCs could help avoid up to a half degree Celsius in global warming by the end of the century. I hope our colleagues will join us in supporting this amendment that will help American businesses and workers do well while doing what’s good for our planet,” said Carper.
The AIM Act was crafted with input from the manufacturing industry and environmental groups to give businesses a clear timeline for transitioning to new innovations in refrigerants. The ultimate goal is to ensure a smooth phasedown that doesn’t disrupt jobs and leave the U.S. behind in an emerging global market. The global market is moving away from the use of HFC refrigerants, given that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol requires their phase-out.
Sens. Kennedy and Carper are joined by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Angus King (I-Maine) in cosponsoring the amendment.