WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) recently introduced a bill, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, which they state will provide certainty for businesses in the U.S. on the worldwide transition towards next-generation coolants.

At issue are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are used as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners. Due to changing global policy, many countries are moving away from using HFCs. According to the senators, this legislation provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to ensure a smooth phasedown of the manufacturing of hydrofluorocarbons in the U.S. in order to support the next generation technologies.

“This bill gives the $206 billion hydrofluorocarbon industry the clarity it needs to invest, transition, and protect American jobs,” said Sen. Kennedy. “It’s not often that Democrats, Republicans, industry and environmental groups come together to agree on anything, but we are all in agreement on this one.”

“Our bipartisan AIM Act continues support for American development and manufacturing of next-generation HFC-alternatives, while also protecting our environment and helping the U.S. meet its obligations under the amended Montreal Protocol – a true win-win,” said Sen. Carper. “After more than a decade of work to support domestic manufacturing of HFC-alternative products, our efforts are clearly paying off with American companies leading the world in this growing industry.”

Honeywell and Mexichem Fluor Inc., both of which have plants in Louisiana, issued statements of support for the bill. “Honeywell strongly supports an HFC phasedown as an essential initiative for American competitiveness,” said Rajeev Gautam, president and CEO, Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. “Decisive action at the federal level is critical to supporting economic growth and job creation at home and the success of exporting U.S. innovation abroad.”

A statement released by Mexichem Fluor Inc. praised the bill for “adopting a HFC phasedown in accordance with the schedule in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. This bill will help achieve the important and sustainable objectives of this international environmental agreement.”

David Doniger, senior strategic director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), added, “Because other nations are already forging ahead on the HFC phase-down, it is important for the United States to maintain its leadership in the development of climate-friendlier alternatives and for the American industry to seize the global economic opportunity in the market for alternative chemicals and products. Your bill is a critical step in that direction.”

Publication date: 3/7/2018

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