Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Terrifying Bulk Chemicals Firm: We Now Manufacture Styrofoam Insulation Without Depleting The Ozone Layer

I think it was Royal Tenenbaum who asked, "Can’t someone be a shit their whole life and want to repair the damage?" ("I mean, I think people want to hear that.") Chemical giant Dow today poses a variation on the same question, with "someone" being replaced by "a theoretically immortal legal entity driven entirely by self interest and free under a vicious misreading of the Fourteenth Amendment to exercise the same freedoms as Mortal Americans."

Its "Building Solutions" division announced today the development of a new foaming agent technology capable of manufacturing their STYROFOAM™ R5/inch insulation without the release of ozone-depleting chemicals. The process is also expected to halve their carbon emissions in North America. From their press release:

The proprietary formulation substitutes the hydrochloro-fluorocarbon (HCFC) 142b, an ozone-depleting compound that US and Canadian regulations under the Montreal Protocol require be phased out by January 1, 2010 in North America, with a non-ozone depleting compound. It enables Dow’s North American customers to continue receiving STYROFOAM insulation with the same product performance and cost-leadership position, and reflects Dow’s commitment, as part of its 2015 Sustainability Goals for Addressing Climate Change, to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
This is another serious step forward for the company, formerly the sole manufacturer of napalm and Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, a majority supplier of silicone breast implants and stakeholder in approximately 96 Superfund sites (Thanks, Wikipedia!) If I trusted this administration's EPA at all, I'd be very enthusiastic about Dow being their 2008 Energy Star Partner of the Year for excellence in energy management and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. [Link to press release]

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