4. The split over amending the Montreal Protocol
Amy reports ... More than 20 conservative groups are urging the Trump administration to oppose an Obama-era climate policy that has backing from major chemical companies, some Republican lawmakers and even a few other conservative groups.
Why it matters: It’s among first public efforts to oppose the policy, which phases down refrigerants in appliances that emit powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It also exposes a rift among conservative interest groups, corporations and congressional Republicans, which more often than not take the same side on environmental issues.
The details: A new letter, organized by the Competitive Enterprise Institute with support from other national and state-based groups, says the policy would make air conditioning prohibitively expensive and not make a big difference in combating climate change.
Flashback: The Obama administration helped broker the policy in October 2016 as an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty created more than 30 years ago to mend the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer.
Between the lines: Most conservative groups oppose government policies mandating changes in the market, while some companies making replacement refrigerants see a competitive advantage, so they’re supporting it. Republicans in Congress, influenced by both the interest groups and companies, are caught in the middle.
What’s next: The administration would need to send the amendment to the Senate for its review and ultimate vote for approval. There’s no deadline to do this, but backers of the policy hope it happens by year-end.