Friday, May 01, 2009

They Are Coming After Your Refrigerator

The Obama Administration has a brilliant new idea. Ban HFCs.

UNITED NATIONS -- The Obama administration, in a major environmental policy shift, is leaning toward asking 195 nations that ratified the U.N. ozone treaty to enact mandatory reductions in hydrofluorocarbons, according to U.S. officials and documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"We're considering this as an option," Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Adora Andy said Wednesday, emphasizing that while a final decision has not been made it was accurate to describe this as the administration's "preferred option."

The change -- the first U.S.-proposed mandatory global cut in greenhouse gases -- would transform the ozone treaty into a strong tool for fighting global warming.

"Now it's going to be a climate treaty, with no ozone-depleting materials, if this goes forward," an EPA technical expert said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because a final decision is pending.

The expert said the 21-year-old ozone treaty known as the Montreal Protocol created virtually the entire market for hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, so including them in the treaty would take care of a problem of its own making.
How nice. Can he get Congress to ratify the treaty? We shall see.

So what are HFCs used for?
HFCs are used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems throughout the world. HFC systems conserve energy, and therefore reduce global warming gas emissions at electric power facilities. This is more significant when they replace older, less-energy-efficient systems.
And guess what else HFCs are good for?
HFCs offer solutions to global-warming...
I guess they haven't got the word. The HFCs are no longer in favor.

And who had a prominent role in getting CFCs (the predecessors of HFCs) banned?
DuPont, the world's dominant CFC producer, played a key role in the development of the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.
Well of course. Its patents on CFCs were running out and CFCs were cheaper to make than HFCs. They were also somewhat more efficient as refrigerants.

So my question is: are the patents on HFCs running out? Has DuPont invented a replacement? Are they behind this new move?

Is this another example of the $Green Economy? I'd bet on it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

No comments: