November 15, 2018

The Mexichem Decision: Uncertainty during Uncertain Times

Shannon Martin Dilley

As countries work toward complying with their international environmental treaty obligations, emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) continue to rise in the aerosol, air conditioning, refrigeration, and foam sectors, trading one environmental problem for another. In the face of this dilemma, some countries have enacted laws regulating HFCs. Yet a recent court decision in the United States shows how relying solely on one mechanism to control HFCs has potential pitfalls. Not only does the decision in Mexichem Fluor Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 866 F.3d 451 (D.C. Cir. 2017) [hereinafter Mexichem], change how HFCs are regulated in the United States, it also changes how the United States is perceived in the international community, and leaves industry and advocacy groups wondering how the federal and state governments will address the climate impacts of these substances.

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