Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) and New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) filed a lawsuit challenging the phase out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a common refrigerant found in air conditioners and refrigerators, as mandated under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act). In this case, SLF and NCLA represent Choice Refrigerants, a Georgia-based company that makes everyday household appliances.
Congress enacted the AIM Act in 2020. This new law directly threatens the existence of Choice. The AIM Act mandates the phasing out of HFCs in appliances through a cap-and-trade allowance scheme. But Congress provided no instructions to the Environmental Protection Agency on how to dole out the allowances under the cap-and-trade scheme. This left the EPA in a position to essentially write its own laws, circumventing separation of powers and the Constitution.
When it did so, the EPA devised a system that threatens Choice’s existence. The EPA chose to grant some allocations attributable to Choice’s products to a foreign-owned intellectual property pirate who illegally imported a knock-off version of Choice’s proprietary HFC product, and to Choice’s former business partner, rather than to Choice Refrigerants itself.
Choice now faces a life-or-death situation at the hands of its own government. It would be one thing if Congress mandated this under a law. Instead, this comes at the hands of a rudderless administrative agency who made its decisions about Choice’s fate without any accountability to the electorate.