With all the guerrilla strife that often haunts Capitol Hill, American workers and businesses – and the communities where they live – are looking for solutions that create jobs and boost our economy. Sometimes this means change and innovation.
The heating, air conditioning and refrigeration industries are not afraid of changes and the transition to new technologies. US air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers see the move away from older refrigerants or fluorocarbons (HFCs) as an opportunity to do what we've been doing for a long time: investing in innovations and next bringing superior, energy-efficient products to the market – generation technologies and equipment.
We see this as the best way to maintain our technology leadership and its benefits for American workers and consumers.
Both the American Law on Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM Act; p. 2754), which was introduced in October by a large, bipartisan group of senators, as well as the American Law on Innovation and Manufacturing of 2020 (HR 5544), which passed on 7 January Introduced by a Bipartisan Group A group of House members will be supported by our entire industry – manufacturers, dealers, contractors and technicians – as they enable a rational and orderly transition of HFCs in the United States.
The legislation creates a seamless change that will benefit both manufacturers and consumers who continue to have the best air conditioning and refrigeration equipment and use the latest in American technology.
In fact, a recent industry economic survey found that a new federal standard for HFC depletion created 33,000 new jobs in the U.S. manufacturing sector, increased the U.S. economy by $ 12.5 billion a year, and increased U.S. exports would increase this sector by 25%. These are big wins.
Bills protect American consumers as technology updates
I will testify on January 14 to a House Energy and Trade Committee calling for support for the House Law.
Both of these bills, which are essentially similar, protect American consumers and enable US manufacturers, our factories, supply chains, distribution networks, and installation and service technicians to prepare for the launch of next-generation refrigerant technologies developed right here in the United States ,
There is already an affordable replacement for HFCs, so legislation would ensure that US manufacturers remain world leaders and that our foreign competitors would be subject to the same rules as new refrigerants replace old ones.
A federal transitional framework will increase manufacturing and distribution efficiency by avoiding the patchwork of state and local regulations that already exist due to the lack of federal policies. While these efforts are well-intentioned, they represent an unpredictable and unorganized transition that creates uncertainty and the unnecessary risk of price shocks and product bottlenecks, while at the same time jeopardizing US manufacturing jobs, which will increase significantly as Congress passes these laws ,
The patchwork approach would also expose American manufacturers, workers, and consumers to anti-competitive practices by foreign manufacturers that could be expected to outsource obsolete devices that cannot be sold in countries with national HFC exit guidelines.
Studies show that the rapid adoption of HFC reduction laws would create US jobs, stimulate investment, and boost exports. This rare opportunity for both parties to create jobs, promote investment, and increase exports will ensure that American companies can continue to lead a rapidly growing and increasingly competitive global market for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and cooling products and equipment.
This is a positive solution that will boost American next-generation refrigerant technology production, foster American innovation, and create tens of thousands of new jobs. Congress must quickly support this bipartisan legislation: a free scheme to support American businesses, workers, and consumers.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. or its owners.
John Galyen is President of Danfoss North America and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, the association of manufacturers of HVAC and water heating systems.