Why The “Ice Trust” Matters Today

Why The “Ice Trust” Matters Today

In 1899, the American Ice Company, with important investors from Tammany Hall, was formed from its predecessor, the Consolidated Ice Company. The objective was to create a monopoly so that the price of ice could be raised.

Governor Teddy Roosevelt fought the people from Tammany Hall who were trying to extort high prices from ordinary citizens for the ice they needed to keep their food fresh. Many of these citizens were immigrants.

Ice boxes were the only way to keep food fresh.

Tammany Hall was the seat of the Democrat Party in New York and, according to  Wikipedia: 

“Played a major role in controlling New York City and New York State politics.”

The politicians tried to sideline Roosevelt by having him run as Vice President on McKinley’s Republican ticket.

When McKinley was assassinated, Teddy Roosevelt became President and went after all the Trusts to eliminate monopolistic pricing.

Why is this relevant today?

We can substitute the House of Representatives for Tammany Hall. 

And for ice, we can substitute “air-conditioning and refrigeration”.

The House is proposing to eliminate the current class of refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), because they have been designated a greenhouse gas.

If passed, this will result in high prices for new refrigerants, just like the high prices for ice imposed on the public by Tammany Hall.

Elimination of HFCs was included in the Covid stimulus Bill, though it’s hard tp see how this relates to Covid stimulus. Tammany Hall’s approach again?

Typical home air-conditioning unit that will have to be replaced

But it’s actually worse.

Existing air-conditioning units and refrigerators can’t use the new refrigerants, which means homeowners and food stores etc, will have to buy larger and more expensive air-conditioners and refrigeration units. When a homeowner pays much more for a new air-conditioning unit he has less to pay for food and transportation.  When stores buy new larger more expensive refrigeration units they will have to raise their prices, once again harming American homeowners.

Interestingly, most developing nations, including China, won’t bother about this GHG.

It’s been reported that one such substitute, used in vehicle air conditioners, already costs nearly ten times more than the HFC it would replace.

Once again, Americans will be paying much more for their “ice”. 

Actions by the House are harming Americans. Just like Tammany Hall, which liked to say they helped immigrants, but then gauged them for their ice.

. . .



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13 Replies to “Why The “Ice Trust” Matters Today”

  1. Thanks Donn, I consider myself pretty well informed, however, I missed this legislation. Just another way the Liberal controlled Congress is jabbing a stick into the economic eyes of Americans. The Green New Deal, tax credits for wind and solar, the Paris Climate initiative and carbon taxes are all anti-American. If Biden is inaugurated it will be a sad four years for economic growth of the U.S.A.

    • It was buried in the 5,000 pages of the relief package. It was supposed to be hidden.
      We have four years of very negative policies for our country with Bidden/Harris in office.

  2. Follow the money. It is green as their love for the environment. I wonder if the new Republicans will stand against this?

  3. We are all using the name = Biden too frequently. Harris is the one we should be most concerned with. She will make GHG a mega issue. Aren’t we all well indoctrinated in Climate change?

    • While Harris would be a worse threat if she became president, it’s the entire administration that will threaten Americans with bad policies about climate change. Each cabinet head, from DOE to the EPA, is positioned to do great harm.

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  7. I find myself wondering if they even have substitutes lined up for replacement of the existing refrigerants (not that that would make it right).

    I also wonder what the EER and SEER values of the systems that use the new refrigerants as compared to existing. Will the energy use of refrigeration and AC systems go up due to the new refrigerants?

    We have been through this already with the phasing out of the older refrigerants like R-11 and R-22.

    R-22 was a great product, very efficient.

    • Good question re replacements and their availability, as well as their efficiencies.
      I haven’t researched these questions so can’t say.

      With R22 now unlawful to produce or import into the US, the cost of maintaining or replacing a system using R22 will increase.