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EPA to Sharply Limit Refrigerant Production in New Climate Rule

Alternatives to HFCs and energy-efficient cooling technologies will save $270 billion and benefit public health during the next 30 years

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THURSDAY, Sept. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In a move to combat global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday that it will restrict U.S. production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 85 percent during the next 15 years.

White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy, a former EPA administrator, told the Associated Press that the new rule was a "win on climate and a win on jobs and American competitiveness." The rule will cut emissions by the equivalent of 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050, McCarthy said, an amount similar to three years of emissions from U.S. power plants.

"This action reaffirms what President Biden always says -- that when he thinks about climate, he thinks about jobs," EPA Administrator Michael Regan told the AP. Alternatives to HFCs and energy-efficient cooling technologies will save $270 billion and benefit public health during the next 30 years, Regan said.

The U.S. reduction in HFCs was included in December's pandemic relief and spending bill. The American Innovation and Manufacturing Act also calls for cuts in diesel emissions from vehicles.

Regan said the phase-down is backed by a coalition of industry groups that see it as an opportunity to "supercharge" American leadership on domestic manufacturing and production of alternative refrigerants, the AP reported.

The government will also work to prevent the illegal trade in HFCs. Working with the departments of Justice, State and Defense, the task force will "detect, deter, and disrupt any attempt to illegally import or produce HFCs in the United States,″ the White House said in a fact sheet.

Associated Press Article

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