Banning Common Refrigerant Would Impose Huge Costs on American Consumers and Businesses

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), joined by 19 free market groups, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposing an amendment to the Senate energy bill that would restrict the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) for contributions to climate change. The letter points out that restricting HFCs, which are the most common refrigerants used in residential refrigerators, residential air conditioners, and vehicles, would cost every American household hundreds of dollars in repairs or new equipment purchases.

The signatories emphasize that burden of cost increases won’t just fall on American households. They write:

“The impact would not be limited to consumers. HFCs are equally widespread in the air conditioning and refrigeration equipment used in millions of business establishments and commercial properties. HFCs are also used in many industrial processes, thus domestic restrictions would confer a competitive advantage on manufacturing competitors located in China and other nations that do not face the same measures.”

The amendment seeks to codify a long-standing Obama Administration priority originally pursued as a treaty. Known as the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, President Trump declined to submit the amendment for Senate ratification, but this new legislative amendment would restrict HFCs without treaty ratification.

Signatories to the letter include Heritage Action for America, the American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the John Locke Foundation, among others.

 “Senate Republicans would be foolish to pass into law a priority from the Obama Administration that would benefit special interests and pass significant costs to American families and businesses at a time when they can least afford it,” said CEI senior fellow Ben Lieberman. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should block this stealth tax from taking more money out of Americans’ pockets.”

Read the full letter with list of signatories here.

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