First case ever: U.S. man charged with smuggling GREENHOUSE GASES!

 March 5, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The federal government has announced a first-ever criminal prosecution of a man suspected of smuggling greenhouse gases into the United States.

And it's a case travelers may want to watch closely. After all, a report in the New York Post said, "Exhaled human breath can contain small, elevated concentrations of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which contribute to global warming."

That's from a study published in the U.K. journal PLOS.

Perhaps the solution would be for travelers to exhale completely before returning to the U.S.?

In the new case, Fox News reports a southern California man has been arrested on suspicion of "smuggling refrigerants into the U.S. from Mexico."

Government officials said he's the first person to be accused of violating rules that were set up to halt greenhouse gases, which purportedly contribute to climate change.

The report identifies Michael Hart of San Diego as the suspect arrested. Federal officials accused him of smuggling chemicals across the border under a tarp and tools in his vehicle.

He allegedly posted them for sale on the internet.

Fox reported Hart was arraigned this week and pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of conspiracy, sale, and importation.

The prosecution is under a 2020 law that bans bringing hydrofluorocarbons, commonly used as refrigerants, into the U.S. without permission from the Environmental Protection Agency.

report from NBC said Hart was named in an indictment from federal prosecutors.

"This is the first time the Department of Justice is prosecuting someone for illegally importing greenhouse gases, and it will not be the last," U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath threatened.

"We are using every means possible to protect our planet from the harm caused by toxic pollutants, including bringing criminal charges."

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