I think the EPA is a little upset, that the manufacturers found a loophole with the whole DRY CHARGED R-22 equipment.
MeThinks the loophole was meant to create commerce--- that is keep the chain of manufacturing and installing units going--- in a soft economy.
The EPA regulates the allowable amount of R-22 that can be manufactured in a year and its production is set to cease in 2030. In 2020, however, production will be reduced to a trickle.... 00.50% (if i remember correctly) of 2010 R22 production numbers. I also believe that by 2015, production will be reduced to 10% of 2010 production numbers.
As a result of the DRY CHARGED loophole, the EPA is moving up its R-22 production draw down and that was a big reason for the jump in R-22 price at the beginning of this year. The EPA decided that it would significantly cut the amount of R-22 that could be produced, to combat the loophole.
I wonder if R-22 will be cheap again (well, maybe not $129.95, which is what I bought it for at Christmas 2011); later in the fall or after the holidays? If it is... I plan to put in a pallet. When R-22 goes away, folks with 22 will have a stash of 'gold' so to say...