Senator Ricardo Lara Introduces California Cooling Act to Combat Powerful Greenhouse Gases in Refrigerants and Air Conditioners

February 07, 2018

SB 1013 would keep California in the lead on reducing HFCs after federal court deals blow to Obama Administration rules

SACRAMENTO – Today California Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced the California Cooling Act (Senate Bill 1013) to target dangerous gases in refrigerants and air conditioners.\

Commonly known as hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs or F-gases, these super-pollutants are the fastest growing source of greenhouse emissions in California and around the world.

Senator Lara authored the Super Pollutant Reduction Act (Senate Bill 1383) in 2016, which committed California to reduce HFC emissions 40 percent by 2030 – the nation’s toughest standard.

The Obama Administration ended the use of the most harmful HFCs in 2015, but the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned the rule after two foreign makers of HFCs sued. An appeals court declined to rehear the case of Mexichem Fluor v. EPA last month by environmental groups and U.S. manufacturers who have invested nearly $1 billion in earth-friendly alternatives.

“Super-pollutants from refrigerants are one of the biggest threats to our planet’s health, contributing to climate disasters like wildfires and extreme heat events,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “But we are not alone in this fight. American businesses are ready to roll up their sleeves to meet our clean air goals, and we can’t be held hostage to global polluters and lack of action by the Trump Administration. The California Cooling Act supports companies as they develop alternatives to these dangerous super-pollutants and keeps California in the lead on cleaner air.”

Last year Senator Lara and Governor Jerry Brown accepted the first ever Climate and Clean Air Award at the United Nations Climate Conference in Germany on Nov. 12, 2017, for taking bold action on HFCs and other pollutants with the passage of the Super Pollutant Reduction Act. 

“We support all efforts to reduce HFCs,” said Helena Molin Valdés, head of the U.N. Environment hosted Climate and Clean Air Coalition. “By doing so we can protect our climate and at the same time move to energy efficient cooling technologies.”

Experts predict that phasing out HFCs globally will help reduce 0.5ºC of warming by 2100 – reducing the risks of extreme weather events like wildfires and impact on California’s agriculture.

The California Cooling Act will maintain the momentum around reducing HFCs, including incentives for businesses and residents to switch to low-polluting air conditioning and refrigeration.

About Senator Lara:

Raised by immigrant parents in East Los Angeles, Senator Ricardo Lara represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the Gateway Cities of Southeast Los Angeles County and Long Beach. The district also includes the Port of Long Beach and some of the nation’s busiest and most polluted transportation corridors.

Sen. Lara has emerged as one of the most effective environmental champions in California by consistently passing laws that improve health conditions and rein in air pollution affecting all people in the state.

Senator Lara is author of the Super-Pollutant Reduction Act (Senate Bill 1383, 2016), which set the nation’s highest target for reducing short lived climate pollutants, or super-pollutants, that are thousands of times more potent than CO2 and contribute to global warming.

The Super-Pollutant Reduction Act calls for cutting emissions of methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40% and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by 2030. 

Senator Lara also authored Senate Bill 1204 (2014), which created the Clean Truck and Bus program and helped lead the Legislature to approve nearly $1 billion for low-emissions vehicles in 2017 – the largest single investment in clean air in the state’s history.