First U.S. Criminal Charged For Smuggling Greenhouse Gases?!

( – The first-ever prosecution for greenhouse gas smuggling has commenced after a man was recently arrested in California for doing just this.

We’ve seen many different things being smuggled like drugs and other illegal substances but this is the first time that a lawsuit is being filed and someone is being charged with smuggling greenhouse gasses through the 2020 U.S. law, which is aimed at phasing out potent greenhouse gasses.

Michael Hart, 58 years old, of San Diego, California got the gasses in Mexico and began transporting them across the border into the United States. Following this, he sold them online on websites like Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp.

The law was for chemicals like hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in air conditioning and refrigeration, but they are extremely bad for the environment as they are thousands of times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide.

The indictment stated that he “communicated with co-conspirators in Mexico to arrange for the purchase of HCFC-22 and other refrigerants, as well as with buyers in California.” Hart pleaded guilty on 13 charges and he can carry a sentence of five to twenty years. David Uhlmann, who leads the Environmental Protection Agency’s office said “This is the first criminal case for illegal smuggling of HFCs. It won’t be the last.”

“We expect there to be many cases along the southern border,” he continued. “There may be cases along the northern border. And because we may not be able to intercept every illegal shipment, there may be cases in cities and towns across America, until we make it clear that we have a zero-tolerance policy.

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