Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump Admin Mounts Defense of Obama's HFC Crackdown

 Montreal Protocol Then-Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks about the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda, last fall. (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State, courtesy of Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The Trump Justice Department defended an Obama administration rule today for phasing out potent heat-trapping chemicals.

Two manufacturers of the chemicals, hydrofluorocarbons, have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to kill the rule.

President Obama's 2013 Climate Action Plan called for cutting HFC use at home and abroad. The 2015 U.S. EPA regulation at issue eliminated some uses for HFCs, which were previously accepted as alternatives to ozone-depleting substances, and approved substitutes for the chemicals.

"This isn't a stretch of the statute," DOJ's Dustin Maghamfar told a three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh appeared to side with the companies at times, saying EPA's rule would force firms that switched from ozone-depleting substances to HFCs to "spend a lot more money."

EPA's regulation — and a similar rule last year phasing out other uses of HFCs — was issued in the runup to the October international agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs globally.

Read more at Trump Admin Mounts Defense of Obama's HFC Crackdown

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