Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, introduced the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, a bill that would authorize a 15-year phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs — potent greenhouse gases that are primarily used as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioning systems.

The legislation will give companies in Delaware, Louisiana and across the country certainty to make the investments necessary to lead the world in the production of next-generation coolants.

This bipartisan legislation was crafted with input from the manufacturing industry and environmental groups to give businesses a clear timeline for transitioning to new innovations in refrigerants. The ultimate goal is to ensure a smooth phasedown that doesn’t disrupt jobs and leave the U.S. behind in an emerging global market. The global market is moving away from the use of HFC refrigerants, given that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol requires their phaseout.

The legislation gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate a transition to newer, better refrigerants. U.S. industries that directly use or produce fluorocarbons employ more than 593,000 Americans. This bill is expected to create an additional 150,000 direct and indirect U.S. jobs as well as generate $38.8 billion in economic benefits annually by 2027.

“I am happy to join Sen. Kennedy and my other colleagues in introducing the AIM Act, which would bolster domestic manufacturing, create good-paying American jobs and address climate change at the same time,” said Carper. “American companies have already invested billions of dollars to produce and sell the next-generation technologies to replace HFCs. The AIM Act builds upon these investments, allowing U.S. companies to further expand manufacturing at home and remain competitive in a growing global market. The economic benefits of this bill are far reaching. The AIM Act is expected to result in 150,000 good-paying American jobs and close to $39 billion in annual economic benefits. At the same time, joining the rest of the global community in reducing HFCs could help avoid up to a half degree Celsius in global warming by the end of the century. It is clear, the AIM Act is a huge win-win for our economy and the planet.”

The AIM Act will gradually phase down the production and consumption of HFCs through an allowance allocation and trading program; authorize the EPA to establish standards for the management of HFCs used as refrigerants and for the recovery of used HFCs; authorize the EPA to facilitate transitions to next-generation technologies by establishing sector-based use restrictions.

The full text of the AIM Act is available bit.ly/2C3ZpXv.