Signs of hope for U.S. climate solutions have recently arrived.

Businessman Andy Karsner was elected to ExxonMobil’s board. He understands that for the company to survive, it will have to reimagine itself as a clean-energy operation. His private-sector and government experience and passion to solve the climate crisis may help drive the company in a hopeful new direction. He is the third recently chosen board member of the company who is committed to ending its sorry record of disinformation, and he favors having Congress pass a bill like HR 2307, which would quickly and efficiently reduce our emissions.

Like Karsner, Fareed Zakaria in his Sunday CNN commentary supported putting an economy-wide price on what we want less of: carbon pollution. Simple common sense like this would incentivize businesses to find their own innovative solutions, better than having the government pick winners and losers with piecemeal government regulation likely to be challenged in the courts. Zakaria also advocated for a border fee on carbon-intensive products from countries lacking a carbon tax, which would protect cleaner American businesses and discourage freeloading by competitors overseas.

Sen. Angus King expressed concern to constituents that any carbon tax must be robust enough to quickly reduce emissions, and spoke favorably of returning all the money collected equally to Americans, ensuring fair treatment of low-income folks and making the policy durable, because most of us would come out ahead.

At a time when many can’t see the woods for the trees, this is hopeful stuff.

Sam Saltonstall

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