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Environment & Energy Report

EPA Walks Back Obama-Era Decision on Rules Many Businesses Want

Sept. 19, 2018, 9:32 PM

The EPA is walking back an Obama-era decision to extend refrigerant leak repair guidelines to cover potent greenhouse gas coolants and their climate-friendly substitutes.

The move could allow at least an extra 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of greenhouse gases a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s own estimates.

The proposal could save industry a net $24 million annually, the EPA said. The appliance and chemical industries have largely been supportive of transitioning away from hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs—greenhouse gases hundreds of times more potent than carbon dioxide—to more climate-friendly refrigerants.

The Obama-era 2016 rule extending...

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