Last month I wrote an article about a study that was done on the effects the Kigali Amendment would have within the United States. The study which was called the ‘Economic Impacts of US Ratification of the Kigali Amendment,’ was funded and sponsored by two groups: The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
This report was another attempt to convince the Trump Administration to send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate so that it could be ratified and turned into law. What was unique about this report is that it specifically focused on the number of jobs and and ancillary jobs that would be created if the US adopted the amendment. This report was geared towards Trump’s jobs jobs jobs push that he has been doing since last year. I am assuming that they figure by showing Trump that this treaty will actually increase jobs within the US that Trump would push it down to the Senate for ratification.
Well, this report came out a little over thirty days ago and there has been no news. It’s been crickets from the Trump Administration. They either do not believe the study, have not had time to review, or they did not plan to move forward with Kigali in the first place. In a new development, last week a grouping of thirteen Senators sent a letter to Trump advocating for the passage of the amendment. What was unique about this letter is that it was thirteen Republican Senators that signed. This amendment has bi-partisan support within the Senate and will pass without a problem if it ever gets there.
It’s funny almost. The letter, which can be found by clicking here, reads like a plug for all of Trump’s campaign promises. I’m not going to get to political here or get into politics in general but the letter is an obvious attempt at pandering. There are references to the Reagan Administration, hundreds of thousands of jobs created, billions in exports increased, balancing the trade deficit in the HVAC industry, and even the dumping of refrigerants from China. All of it reads like one of Trump’s campaign commercials.
The question now though folks is will this letter work? Has the Trump Team even read through the initial report from last month? Did they have a plan to kill this amendment from day one? Or, are they just slow walking this to death without a real answer? At this point it is very difficult to tell what will happen next. It’s unpredictable. If you were to ask me for my opinion at this point in time I do not see Trump moving forward with this. To be honest, I don’t even think it is on his radar. That’s why there hasn’t even been a firm yes or no answer yet. I do however feel that if they keep pushing him on this that he will get frustrated and may just reject it outright without diving into the facts of the matter.
Getting back to the letter, the Republican Senators that signed this letter that was sent to Trump are:
- John Kennedy – Louisana
- Johnny Isakson – Georgia
- John Boozman – Arkansas
- Susan Collins – Maine
- Lisa Murkowski – Alaska
- Todd Young – Pennsylvania
- Lindsey Graham – South Carolina
- Bill Cassidy – Louisana
- Roy Blunt – Missouri
- Jerry Moran – Kansas (The best state, in case you weren’t sure)
- Marco Rubio – Florida
- Lamar Alexander – Tennessee
The good news here though is that even if we do not pass the Kigali Amendment the Environmental Protection Agency is actively working on rewriting their HFC rules and future phase-downs. These re-writes will be in compliance with the Federal Court ruling and will still hopefully accomplish similar goals as to what their SNAP Rule 20 was aimed to do. There is not an exact timeline on when these rewrites will be done but I hope to see something relatively soon. While we wait for the EPA we also have another line of defense against HFCs: States’ Rights. California is a prime example as they have already enacted their own version of the EPA’s former SNAP Rule 20. While I am not aware of another state passing new regulations/laws I know that there are some looking at Californias’ changes as a template or baseline for their own.
I’ve said it again, and I’ll say it now as well. Whatever happens over this year and next I can assure you all that HFCs are going away. It is just a matter of time and HOW they are phased down across the country.