A group of manufacturing executives sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to move forward with a climate policy enacted during the Obama-era.
The manufacturing sector has been mostly supportive of Trump’s undoing of regulations made under the Obama administration. However, there is one climate change agreement that has garnered wide support from the industry: The Kigali Amendment. Agreed upon by international leaders in October 2016, the amendment adds on to the decades-old Montreal Protocol. The new climate policy mandates the phase out of hydrofluorocarbons and greenhouse gases found in refrigerators and heaters. Such a rule would help repair the Earth’s ozone layer, which has been damaged by proliferation of these chemicals.
The Kigali Amendment is set to go into effect in January 2019, but the White House needs to first send it to the Senate for approval — something Trump has yet to do. Companies affected by this regulation have already spent millions preparing for its implementation. If the Trump administration decides to undo it altogether, their investments would have largely been for nothing. (RELATED: Air Conditioner Lobby Wants Trump To Stick With This Obama-Era Climate Treaty)
A Wednesday letter signed by numerous industry CEOs calls on Trump to send the amendment to the upper chamber of Congress, mentioning “America first” and making the case that ratification would boost the U.S. economy.
“We believe this action will help secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next generation air conditioning, refrigeration, thermal insulation, aerosols, medical uses, fire suppression, semiconductors and other technologies that utilize fluorocarbons,” a portion of the letter, first obtained by Axios, reads. “As such, we believe that the Kigali Amendment represents a chance to put America first, and to keep American workers at the forefront of these important global industries.”
Clearly tailor-made for Trump’s viewing, the letter cites a litany economic benefits that the amendment would bring about, but made no mention of its environmental impact.
The letter from manufacturing leaders follow a very similar message from Republican lawmakers. A group of GOP senators signed a letter earlier in June in support of the Kigali Amendment, citing job growth while also not mentioning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
“By sending this amendment to the Senate, you will help secure America’s place as the global leader in several manufacturing industries, and in turn give American workers an advantage against their competitors in the international marketplace,” reads the June 4 letter, signed by 13 Republican senators.
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