A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Friday that would let the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implement a global deal meant to phase out certain greenhouse gases.
The legislation would give the EPA authority to ban hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning.
After world leaders agreed to a phaseout plan in 2015, the EPA wrote its own regulation to restrict the use of HFCs in the United States. But a federal court last year overturned that regulation and said the EPA does not have the authority to implement it.
“On the surface, this bill seems more complicated than high school chemistry, but really it’s pretty simple,” Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyLouisiana Democrat running for US Senate smokes marijuana in campaign ad MORE (R-La.) said in a statement. “It’s about jobs. And it’s about protecting the investment by Louisiana companies in new technologies and protecting Louisiana jobs.”
Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperNearly 200 Democrats back EPA in Supreme Court emissions case Bottom line Biden comments add momentum to spending bill's climate measures MORE (D-Del.) said the bill, called the American Innovation and Manufacturing 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.”
The EPA would likely have the authority to phase out HFCs if the Senate were to ratify the the 2015 deal, dubbed the Kigali Amendment.
But President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE has not yet decided whether he supports the deal and whether he will submit it to the Senate for ratification, which requires a two-thirds majority vote.
Phasing out HFCs has the support of environmentalists and industry alike, since domestic manufacturers want to have the same rules worldwide for their products.
“Enhancing U.S. technological leadership and supporting U.S. industry and the jobs it creates and sustains are key components of our support for the Kigali Amendment, and this bill will create a certain pathway for implementation of Kigali if, as we hope, it is submitted to and ratified by the Senate,” said Stephen Yurek, president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.