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Court Tosses an Obama-Era Climate Rule That Trump Had Defended

  • Court says EPA overstepped authority in refrigerant phaseout
  • U.S. chemical companies Chemours, Honeywell supported phaseout
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What the U.S. Departure Means for the Paris Agreement


The Trump administration’s attempt to defend one aspect of Barack Obama’s climate agenda failed as a federal court tossed a regulation to limit harmful chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, in a 2-1 decision, ruled Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in prohibiting the use of certain refrigerants that are potent greenhouse gases. In its 2015 regulation, EPA relied on a statute that regulated use of ozone-depleting substances, but the refrigerants -- called hydrofluorocarbons -- don’t damage the ozone layer, Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the court’s decision.