Timed For “Earth Day”? Biden EPA FURTHER Attacks Refrigeration, A/C

P. Gardner Goldsmith | April 21, 2022
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“Tilting at windmills …”

Likely timed to coincide with the annual virtue-ritual of “Earth Day,” in which zealots rail about bogus “environmental crises” and gush about piling increased collectivist burdens on our lives, President Don Quixote Biden and his EPA Sancho Panzas have announced NEW strictures on our use of one of those beneficial chemical windmills.

It's the hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC, “CFC”) molecule, used to facilitate low-cost refrigeration.

Carrying out a threat Biden delivered on September 23 last year, something he telegraphed just after “Earth Day” last year,  and an agenda inspired by the disastrous late Trump-Era statute called The American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, the EPA armored-up Tuesday to announce even more costly and unnecessary attacks on those who would like to use CFCs to cool things.

The AIM Act is among the most significant environmental laws enacted by the U.S. Congress in recent years – co-sponsored and passed with strong, bipartisan support and backed by a broad coalition of industry and environmental groups.

Of course, our friends in DC pay no attention to the unethical nature of pushing people around, overlook the fact that the environmental fearmongers lost the scientific debate about CFCs ages ago, and disregard the fact that they don’t have any Constitutional authority to do this.

They frame it as “encouragement” to “help” US manufacturers and consumers “innovate”:

The law ushers in the use of more climate friendly and energy efficient alternatives that will save money while protecting the environment. American companies are at the forefront of developing HFC alternatives and the technologies that use them, and the AIM Act provides these companies additional opportunities to continue to innovate.

See? It’s not a threat, it’s an opportunity!

’Congress provided clear, bipartisan direction to aggressively phase down super-polluting HFCs, and the Biden-Harris Administration has stepped up to deliver a program that will ramp up more climate-friendly and energy efficient alternatives, save money, and stop illegal imports,’ said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. ‘This will help the United States to meet our ambitious climate goals while allowing American companies to lead the way with innovative technologies.’

But, the free market recognizes savings and allows consumers the freedom to weigh costs and benefits, always comparing, and letting competitors work to innovate and decrease costs.

Related: EPA Chief Calls Climate Change a ‘Science Fact,’ Can’t Verify Predictions Are Accurate

The imposition of political commands does precisely the opposite, interfering with the cost-benefit analysis, and imposing artificial, arbitrary preferences that the politicians and their Sancho Panzas subsequently portray as blessings they confer unto us, the victims.

Adds the EPA:

Under the AIM Act, EPA in January established the HFC Allowance Allocation and Trading Program that sets a comprehensive cap on HFCs and phases them down. The phasedown will reduce the consumption and production of HFCs by 85% by 2036, resulting in total emission reductions from 2022 to 2050 that are projected to be the equivalent of 4.6 billion metric tons of CO2 – nearly equal to three years of U.S. power sector emissions at 2019 levels. EPA is also developing a proposed rulemaking to address the methodology for how allowances are distributed in 2024 and later years, and held a stakeholder meeting last month with over 350 participants. In 2024, the HFC phasedown will take its next step and move to a 40% reduction below baseline levels.

On the scientific level, the emptiness of this CFC canard is as old as the Neil Young terror over “Styrofoam boxes for the ozone layer” that he expressed in his 1989 song, “Rockin’ In The Free World.”

As Ben Liebermann wrote for The Heritage Foundation on the 20th Anniversary of the 1987 Montreal Protocol On Substances That Deplete The Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol):

The lurid predictions of ozone depletion-induced skin cancer epidemics, ecosystem destruction and others haven't come true… in retrospect, the evidence shows that ozone depletion was an exaggerated threat in the first place.

Indeed, even as CFC concentration in the atmosphere increased, the leftist bogeyman of the “Ozone Hole” over the South Pole healed itself.

As far as ozone depletion is concerned, the thinning of the ozone layer that occurred throughout the 1980s apparently stopped in the early 1990s, too soon to credit the Montreal Protocol. A 1998 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report said that, ‘since 1991, the linear [downward] trend observed during the 1980s has not continued, but rather total column ozone has been almost constant …’ However, the same report noted that the stratospheric concentrations of the offending compounds were still increasing through 1998. This lends credence to the skeptical view, widely derided at the time of the Montreal Protocol, that natural variations better explain the fluctuations in the global ozone layer.

As many folks who watched this issue are aware, alarmist politicians of the late ‘80s did not listen to scientists who explained that the ozone layer fluctuates based on Polar Vortex winds and other fluid and magnetic dynamics.

And they still do not listen. They have an agenda to control the economy.

Liebermann adds significant details about the misleading rhetoric on ultraviolet radiation (UV) that folks like Biden try to portray as a threat should their edicts over CFCs not be met with our slave-like compliance:

WMO concedes that no statistically significant long-term trends have been detected, noting earlier this year that ‘outside the polar regions, ozone depletion has been relatively small, hence, in many places, increases in UV due to this depletion are difficult to separate from the increases caused by other factors, such as changes in cloud and aerosol.’ In short, the impact of ozone depletion on UVB over populated regions is so small that it's hard to detect.

Next, the constitutional level.

The only section of the US Constitution that politicians might attempt to cite as justification for the existence of the Environmental Protection Agency is the Interstate Commerce Clause, which was written to allow Congress to mediate disputes between States (capital S) as legal entities when they engage in trade disputes. It was not designed to be a power to, a-priori, tell people that they cannot engage in some kind of peaceful activity like selling a refrigerator or air conditioner that employs CFCs as an efficient way to keep things cool.

Some might argue that, if these gases are damaging people across state lines, then wouldn’t there be a place for the feds to step in?

Which requires an understanding of Tort law and a clearer picture of why all preemptory government “regulations” on peaceful human activity are not only unconstitutional, they are immoral and stand counter to centuries of Common Law.

According to the ancient Common Law on which the US tort system is based, one cannot bring a tortious claim (a claim for compensation due to someone harming the plaintiff) to a court unless he or she can show definite harm and a causal connection to the accused/defendant.

It must be after the fact, not preemptory, and the state is not a person, meaning that all state regulations (aka “prior restraints”) on peaceful personal activity are invalid. They punish, when no victim has complained or proven a case, and they portray the state as a victimized person, which it doubly is not.

But these regulations DO harm people.

HCFCs/CFCs have been an incredible blessing to millions, allowing cheap refrigeration in Third World nations, and air conditioning for the elderly in hot climates.

This government fiat reminds us that we do not live in anything remotely resembling a free country. We live in a fascist nation where, as noted early on in this piece, “stakeholders” will be selected by the politicians and given special consideration as those politicians impose more mandates on what should be a free enterprise system.

Their arguments aren’t arguments, and their methods and impositions are immoral.

Readers felt sorry for Don Quixote as he attacked the windmills. But people owned those mills, and used them to try to better their lives.

It would be great if Americans would stop the federal “knights” from engaging in their immoral and unconstitutional attacks on what help us and others have better lives.