Inert gas welding might be getting very interesting in the near future.
Its hard to imagine a more inoffensive substance than Argon. As a noble gas, Argon is chemically inert – it participates in no chemical reactions whatsoever, except under exotic conditions – there are no known chemical compounds which can survive at room temperature which include Argon. Argon is not a greenhouse gas.
But Argon is incredibly useful to industry – among other things, is used as a “shield” gas. Anyone who welds Aluminium or Stainless Steel will be familiar with Argon, which is used with MIG and TIG welders, to blow oxygen away from the electric welding arc, to prevent oxidative damage to the weld joint. Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness, for no benefit whatsoever.
So why on Earth would the EPA plan to ban something as inoffensive as Argon? IceAgeNow has a theory – they think Argon is part of a list supplied by a scientifically illiterate NGO, which the EPA plans to rubber stamp.
Rolf left this story in the comments yesterday. While I think that IAN is correct in their theory as to how it got included on the list, if this rule is allowed to go through the eco-cosialists will use it as “proof” that all Argon use must be banned and set about ruining US industry even further (since that is their actual goal).