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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) unveiled legislation on Monday that would levy a fee on imported carbon-intensive goods, such as steel and aluminum.

Why it matters: The "border carbon adjustment," which is expected to be included in the legislative text of the Democrats-only infrastructure bill that would move through the reconciliation process, uses trade policy to help address climate change.

  • It follows a move by the European Union to implement a similar policy.

Details: The border carbon adjustment, or BCA, would protect American industries that have to pay more to comply with climate regulations from competitors based in countries that aren’t reducing their emissions as aggressively.

  • Foreign producers of goods such as steel would have to pay a fee based on each ton of carbon dioxide they emitted while producing such materials.
  • Initially, the draft bill targets the following energy and pollution-intensive products: steel, aluminum and cement, as well as natural gas, petroleum and coal.
  • The tariff may expand over time.

The intrigue: The measure might be attractive to moderate lawmakers who are worried about hobbling the domestic energy and manufacturing sectors.

Yes, but: Policies like this can be difficult to implement, especially since countries have expressed their emissions reduction goals differently.

  • Such a measure could provoke other countries to act in ways that restrict American imports.
  • In addition, considering and enacting such a measure could make diplomatic negotiations at the next United Nations climate summit even more fraught.

Go deeper

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.

23 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
59 mins ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.