When it comes to dictating what products we are allowed to buy, we would like to think our government would err on the side of safety instead of on the side of big political donors. That may not be the case.
In an op-ed piece in today’s Investor’s Business Daily, Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, reveals that a division of the EPA while headed by Gina McCarthy, who is nominated by Obama to become head of the EPA, approved the use of a automobile refrigerant called HFO-1234yf. The refrigerant is touted as “ozone friendly” and its patent is held by Honeywell Corp. and DuPont.
Honeywell PAC is one of the top political donors in the country and its CEO David Cote has close ties to Obama. Honeywell PAC gave $5,000 to Harry Reid’s campaign in 2009 alone and nearly $10,000 in prior years. That PAC gave more than $20,000 to Harry’s Searchlight Leadership Fund. It also gave thousands to the Senate Majority Fund, while Reid was the majority leader.
“This new chemical helps fight climate change and ozone depletion,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation in a statement in 2011 on HFO-1234yf. “It is homegrown innovative solutions like this that save lives and strengthen our economy.”
But Wilson reports Daimler conducted crash tests in Germany and found the substance highly flammable. Not only that but it emits hydrogen fluoride — “a chemical far more deadly to humans than hydrogen cyanide, emitted in such amounts that it turned the windshield white as it began to eat into the glass.” The results were the same in 20 out of 20 tests.
Both Daimler and Volkswagen now refuse to use the refrigerant even though the European Union has mandated its use.
As far as strengthening our economy, Wilson says the chemical will be manufactured in China, while American workers who produce R-134a — the current industry standard refrigerant — may lose their jobs.
Wilson concludes with this indictment:
“Whether this is a case of crony capitalism or the ‘green agenda’ run amok remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Gina McCarthy approved the promotion of a dangerous product that threatens American lives and jobs.
“That’s the real danger here — not global warming or a ‘killer coolant,’ but a rogue agency and the woman who would lead it, who are willing to sacrifice consumer safety on the altar of radical ideology.”