Republican Senators John Kennedy, Susan Collins and Bill Cassidy joined Democratic colleagues to introduce the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, a bill which would accelerate the EPA’s phaseout of harmful hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) in accordance with the terms of the amended Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Montreal Protocol is considered the most successful international environmental treaty, and the Kigali Amendments to the protocol lay out a timeline for global phaseout of HFCs, commonly found in older coolants and refrigerants.
“America’s manufacturing industry is an integral part of our economy and has long been a source of pride as well as quality, good-paying jobs,” said Collins, who hails from Maine. “This legislation will accelerate the phase down of harmful pollutants with next-generation, environmentally safe coolant alternatives while boosting job growth, increasing innovation, and attracting future investments.” Louisiana’s Cassidy added: “American manufacturers are leading the way in using new technologies to develop environmentally-friendly substitutes for hydrofluorocarbons.”
“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,” Kennedy, also from Louisiana, said.
HFCs are a potent greenhouse gas that accelerate climate change, originally brought to market to replace the ozone-depleting CFCs. The chemical industry has long supported their phaseout and are leading the manufacture of more environmentally friendly alternatives.