HFCS MANDATE: HELP OR HURT?

October 15, 2021
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Here’s one of those sneaky things going on that makes costs go up.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a week or so ago that they had adopted their first new climate rule that would cut the use of greenhouse gases that are used in home refrigerators and air conditioners and are known to be leaking from the massive freezers we see in grocery stores.  The goal of the regulation is to cut the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons by 85 percent over the next 15 years.

The regulation implements a law passed in late December, 2020 that was part of the $900 billion coronavirus debt package – and hailed as one of the biggest pieces of legislation affecting climate change in a decade.

The legislation passed with bipartisan support.  In the overall energy package was “roughly $4 billion for solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal research and development; $1.7 billion to help low-income families install renewable energy sources in their homes; $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation program; and $500 million for research on reducing industrial emissions.”  The energy legislation also authorized “$2.9 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.”

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are chemicals described as being one hundred times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide.

The initial reaction to the new regulation one might expect would be that this could hurt companies that currently make hydrocarbons.  But apparently, one of the reasons for the bipartisan support was that many of the same companies that make HFCs also make environmentally-friendly alternative chemicals that accomplish the same goal.  So some Republicans with chemical companies in their state were for this.

Business involved with the changeover is fine with this overhaul because it gives them a reason to come out and make these changes and they make money off of that.  Kind of like several years ago when all the freon in air conditioners had to change.

But our concern is that this on-going climate blitz is causing costs to rise to placate the Green New Deal crowd on the backs of the middle class taxpayer who has to pay the higher prices at the end of the day.  To meet climate goals set in the Obama administration, automobile companies had to adapt to new guidelines and that’s one of the reasons new vehicles are so costly these days.

And right now, with inflation tilting higher and higher, the everyday consumer doesn’t need more high costs to kick ‘em in the teeth any further.

And it’s not just air conditioning units.  The Washington Post article stated “Over the coming years, the newly launched program will bring big changes to the way numerous products that today rely on HFCs — including fire extinguishers, aerosol canisters and building insulation — are made.”

On top of all the other reasons why prices are higher, put this add-on thanks to the Climate Change police on your list.


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