Meeting Steve Forbes & Refrigerants

By Barton James posted 02-07-2018 09:28 AM

Forbes.jpgOn February 5, I had the opportunity to meet Forbes magazine Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes.  Oddly enough I was attending a symposium discussing the future of the Kigali Amendment, and its impact on the U.S. regulatory process- which translates to a discussion about refrigerants changes coming your way. 
Former Senator David Vitter, which now lobby’s for Mercury Public Affairs, representing AHRI was kind enough to introduce me. I knew Mr. Forbes had bit of a reputation as “policy wonk” and cunning investor, but I must admit I was surprised he was serving a keynote for a discussion about refrigerants.  Based on his keynote his reputation about being a policy wonk is spot on, and Mr. Forbes clearly had is mind made up about the need for the U.S. to move full steam ahead with Kigali.
Back Story: In 2016, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol “Clean Air Act” was agreed to at a conference in Kigali, Rwanda, by 170 countries.  One of the purposes of the Kigali Amendment was to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) because of the belief in their impact on greenhouse gas concentrations. The Trump Administration and Congress are in the early stages of trying to figure out the costs of implementation of Kigali, and whether additional changes to the Clean Air Act are needed for implementing the treaty amendment in the United States.

Two separate panels of experts from the Trump Administration, former Clinton Administration, environmental/climate change group- NRDC, and AHRI, President & CEO Steve Yurek, and Paul Camuti, Chief Technology Officer for Ingersoll Rand Corporation, and host of others discussed the merits and concerns of switching from HFCs to HFO.
Despite this symposium feeling more like a VERY long sales pitch for moving forward with Kiglai, I was pleased to have AHRI’s President & CEO, Steve Yurek recognize me and ACCA, and underscore our work to ensure the transition to new refrigerants, including flammable products, must not be done hastily, and we must not forget that the EPA states that half of all HVAC systems in the U.S. are not installed correctly, and we know this field problem can contribute to refrigerant leaks.
ACCA’s professional HVACR contractors recognize addressing installation problems is paramount to safely transitioning to new products, including flammable refrigerants and addressing ratifying Kigali.