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Why This Matters: HFCs are a very potent greenhouse gas – as we have written recently, they have a global warming potential of 1000 to 3000 times that of carbon dioxide, and their use has increased exponentially since they were introduced in 1990. The first court ruling, written by then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, held that the Obama administration rule should not have required the phase-out of ozone-friendly HFCs. Trump then said the whole rule had to go. States and environmental groups sued, arguing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be allowed to ban new HFCs as replacements for ozone-depleting substances because that was within their authority under the Air Act. The Trump administration claimed they could not implement the rule piecemeal, but fortunately, the court reigned them in.
Because the Trump administration refused to implement the Obama rule on HFCs requiring their phase-out, states have begun to pass tougher laws to ban them. Just last month, an energy research funding bill with bipartisan support was zipping through the Senate, but it ran into a roadblock when President Trump and conservative Republicans blocked an amendment that would have phased out HFCs because the Democrats refused to agree to language in the amendment banning states’ right to pass stricter standards on them. The state of California is working to put new standards in place that would meet a requirement that the state reduces its HFC emissions to half their current levels by 2030. This would require changes by grocery stores, as well as alterations to commercial and residential air conditioning systems.
How do you elect political candidates who will make tackling climate change a priority? That’s the question Caroline Spears and her colleagues sought to answer when they launched the Climate Cabinet Action Fund in 2018, offering tailored climate data, policy ideas, and messaging suggestions to candidates and lawmakers.
Why This Matters: State legislatures play a critical role in crafting and passing policy — to lead on climate and energy policy, paving the way for ambitious national climate action.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer As Maui, Hawaii begins its “managed retreat” from its coastline due to sea-level rise caused by climate change, the county filed a lawsuit this week against big oil companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips to pay the costs of the move. The suit alleges that the companies knew […]
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