Twenty-Two Free Market and Conservative Groups Tell Trump To Ditch the Kigali Amendment
Twenty-two free-market, conservative, consumer, and sound science organizations sent a letter to President Trump on July 2 opposing the Kigali Amendment and urging him not to send it to the Senate for ratification. The U.N. Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone-Depleting Substances was negotiated by the Obama administration in October 2016.
The Kigali Amendment would restrict many of the cheapest and most effective refrigerants now used in home and car air conditioners as well as most commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. It would do so on the grounds that these compounds make an unacceptable contribution to global warming.
The joint letter to the president argues that the environmental benefits of the Kigali Amendment would be at best minute, while the economic costs to consumers and businesses would be significant. The letter also notes that if air conditioning and refrigeration equipment using the new class of refrigerants “is what consumers want, manufacturers are free to make the switch with or without the Kigali Amendment. Kigali only serves to force this costlier choice on the public whether they like it or not.”
The groups signing the letter are: Competitive Enterprise Institute, Caesar Rodney Institute, Heritage Action, Institute for Energy Research, Committee for A Constructive Tomorrow, Eagle Forum, Americans for Limited Government, National Center for Public Policy Research, Citizens Against Government Waste, American Policy Center, Energy and Environment Legal Institute, American Commitment, Cornwall Alliances for the Stewardship of Creation, CO2 Coalition, Public Interest Legal Foundation, Council for America, Washington Policy Center, Independence Institute, John Locke Foundation, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Montana Policy Institute, and Idaho Freedom Foundation.
Joining environmental pressure groups in support of Kigali are a number of companies including Honeywell and Chemours, both of which have patented substitute refrigerants that currently cost up to 10 times more than the ones they hope to see restricted.
Not all of the putative free market community signed the letter. Apparently swayed by the arguments from Honeywell and others, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, and the American Council for Capital Formation have issued their own letter asserting that this Obama-era U.N. mandate would benefit the American economy.