WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate has voted to proceed with debate on climate change legislation that calls for cutting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by about 70 percent from power plants, refineries, factories, and transportation by mid-century.

In this equation is the issue of global warming which is of interest to the HVACR industry because HFC refrigerants are perceived as having a global warming potential in the event of equipment leaks. The key piece of legislation is the Lieberman-Warner bill that is seen by many in the industry to specifically target HFCs for tighter regulation.

Those watching developments say the bill’s chances of passing the Senate are viewed as slim as its supporters are not expected to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome a certain filibuster threat. Prospects in the House are even less certain, they say.

President Bush also indicated this week that he opposed the Lieberman-Warner bill, saying that it “would impose roughly $6 trillion of new costs on the America economy,” and the administration stated that he would veto the bill.

Some experts believe that the current Senate debate is merely laying the groundwork for the next Congress and next administration to take up the issue.

Publication date:06/02/2008