Biden administration takes first major step to regulate greenhouse gases

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Environmental groups have described the new regulations as key to putting the United States on track to reduce emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by the end of this decade, as promised. Mr. Biden, and to keep the planet from warming beyond a dangerous threshold.

“Shifting from HFCs to more climate-friendly alternatives is an important part of President Biden’s plan to address the climate crisis,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the climate and clean energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Delaware Democrat Senator Tom Carper said the EPA rule will create jobs.

“It’s a slam dunk, outright,” Carper said in a statement. “The gradual reduction of HFCs will support US leadership in manufacturing and innovation, lower global temperatures, strengthen our economy and help save our planet,” he said.

Among the few critics of the new policy was the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank that challenges the notion that climate change poses a major threat to the United States. The organization issued a statement saying that reducing HFCs would increase the costs of new refrigerators and air conditioners as well as the prices of repairing old ones.

Industry officials dispute this, noting that the refrigerant compound accounts for about 1% of the cost of a cooling device. Francis Dietz, vice president of public affairs at the Institute of Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration, also pointed out that manufacturers have years of experience in phasing out coolants which have subsequently proven to be harmful.

Alternatives are already in production, he said, but until EPA regulations take effect, there isn’t a big enough market for them in the United States.

“We’ve been dealing with this idea that it’s going to increase costs forever,” Mr. Dietz said. “We do not agree.”

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