To attend the goal of reducing pollutans in the U.S., assumed by the Biden administration, the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday proposed regulation to cut down on the use and production of powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. The new rule focuses on hydrofluorocarbons, a class of man-made chemicals that is thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet. Michael S. Regan, the E.P.A. administrator, said the agency aimed to reduce the production and importation of hydrofluorocarbons in the United States by 85 percent over the next 15 years. The proposal marks the first time President Biden’s administration has used the power of the federal government to mandate a cut in climate pollution.The move is important because it will be the first time the federal government has set national limits on this matter.
The E.P.A.’s action is backed by both environmental groups and the business community. The E.P.A. estimated that the HFC rule would result in $283.9 billion in health and environmental benefits by the middle of the century. By the time it is fully implemented, the agency projects, it will prevent the equivalent of 187 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Last month, EPA finalized a list of new refrigerant options that could be used as substitutes.