ICYMI: Congress has an easy way to create American jobs and reduce greenhouse gases—the Senate must ratify
Apr 28 2022
“Win-win opportunities aren’t easy to find in politics, but sometimes single solutions exist to help tackle several challenges. Cleaning up super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is one of those rare solutions that will boost our economy and help protect our planet.”
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“For years, American companies have been at the forefront of developing HFC alternatives, so by phasing down HFCs we help promote U.S. leadership in the innovation and manufacturing of new climate-safe products. That’s what brought us together to write and pass the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act in 2020, a law that phases down the production and use of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years. Transitioning away from HFCs drives more investments in American-made technologies that are better for the environment, cheaper for consumers, and good for the economy.
“The AIM Act is expected to create 33,000 new manufacturing jobs and help more than 130,000 Americans keep their current jobs over the next five years in communities across the country including our home states of Louisiana and Delaware.”
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“This manufacturing boost will also be good for Louisiana, where plants in Geismar, Baton Rouge, and St. Gabriel could create more jobs and save hundreds of existing jobs by transitioning to production of safer coolants. And Louisiana companies involved in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) industry could benefit, as well. The international HVACR market could more than double over the next decade, and Louisiana’s HVACR industry can produce appliances that don’t rely on HFCs—appliances that we could then export to make the most out of this industry’s growth.”
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“But our work isn’t done yet. While the AIM Act has helped position America to reap the domestic fruits of transitioning away from HFCs, it can’t ensure that we’ll keep beating competitors (and super-polluters) like China and India unless America is a full partner in international efforts to phase out these substances.
“In order to see the full economic and environmental benefits of transitioning away from HFCs, the Senate must now ratify the Kigali Amendment. By building on the successes of the AIM Act, ratifying the Kigali Amendment will expand the global market for American-made technologies and safeguard U.S. investments.
“More than 170 countries support the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which obliges its signers to gradually phase down their HFC usage by 85%. China and India have both ratified the amendment. Starting in 2033, the Kigali Amendment would impose trade restrictions between countries that comply with the HFC phasedown agreement and those that do not.
“The AIM Act is already bringing the U.S. into alignment with the Kigali Amendment’s plan to phase down HFCs. It only makes economic sense that the Senate now ratify this agreement to ensure that the U.S. can capitalize on the success of the AIM Act instead of unnecessarily limiting our trade partners and giving our competitors—or even adversaries like China—a leg up at the expense of hardworking Americans.”
The op-ed is available here.