On Tuesday, a D.C. appeals court struck down an Obama-era restriction on the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals used in refrigerators and air conditioners that become greenhouse gases when released into the atmosphere.
Surprisingly, the Trump administration went to bat for the rule in February, opposing a challenge from HFC-producing chemical companies based in Mexico and France, which argued the rule oversteps the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act. Environmentalists, as well as industry, supported the EPA’s case.
HFCs have warming potential that’s thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide, but they break down relatively quickly once released (in fewer than 15 years). Banning them could have swift climate implications. Last year, 170 countries — including the U.S. — signed onto