WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the proposal of a new rule to cut the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the powerful heat-trapping chemicals used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and other products:
“I applaud the Biden Administration as they work to tackle HFCs. HFCs are super pollutants — short-lived greenhouse gases significantly more harmful than carbon dioxide, and key drivers of climate change. The step taken today by the EPA could help us avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming, in line with the bipartisan legislation Congress passed last year to slash HFCs by 85 percent over 15 years. This is the clear and bold leadership our country needs to combat the climate crisis, and I look forward to working with the White House to continue to spearhead action against HFCs and other super pollutants.”
Since coming to Congress in 2013, Rep. Peters has led the national charge to eliminate super pollutants. Last year, Rep. Peters and his colleagues introduced the American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership Act to phase down the use of HFCs. Language from the bill was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act signed into law in December.
After reading a 2013 article in the New York Times about the danger of fuel particles based on a study by San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Rep. Peters reached out to the study’s lead scientist, Dr. V. Ramanathan. The two began to work on a bill to tackle black carbon emissions and other potent atmospheric pollutants. This legislation became the first iteration of the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction (SUPER) Act. Later that year, Rep. Peters invited Dr. Ram to testify during a congressional briefing on the importance of cutting super pollutants.
In 2014, Rep. Peters and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) led their colleagues in a letter to then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, calling for the agency to take a more aggressive stance on reducing HFCs. Sen. Murphy and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced companion legislation of the SUPER Act in the Senate.