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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Janet Yellen, President Biden's nominee to run the Treasury Department, has made clear to senators that her boss supports carbon pricing, but how that backing translates to policy is unknown.

Driving the news: "I am fully supportive of effective carbon pricing and I know that the President is as well," Yellen said in written answers to Senate Finance Committee members' questions published Thursday.

  • "We cannot solve the climate crisis without effective carbon pricing," she wrote.
  • "The President does support an enforcement mechanism that requires polluters to bear the full cost of the carbon pollution they are emitting."

What we don't know: What that "enforcement mechanism" might mean. Carbon pricing typically refers to taxes or emissions trading systems.

Background: Yellen is on record supporting a proposal that would tax emissions and then return revenues to the public. But carbon taxes have little political traction on Capitol Hill, and emissions trading systems are a heavy lift in Congress, too.

  • Most Republicans don't like them, while Democrats and many activists are putting a higher priority on other climate policy ideas.

The intrigue: There could be some avenues that don't require Congress (but would likely face litigation).

  • The Obama-era Clean Power Plan to cut power plant emissions gave states the option of using CO2 trading to meet their requirements.
  • But the overall rule never took effect due to a Supreme Court stay.

What to watch: Yellen said she'll continue discussing her views with Biden and other people in the administration.

Go deeper

Robinhood has a stacked policy team — and it's going to need it

Photo Illustration: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The stock-trading app Robinhood has an arsenal of political power brokers it can deploy on its behalf as it faces congressional inquiries over its role in an internet-fueled market manipulation frenzy.

Why it matters: The populist, discount trading platform is going to need that firepower because its decision to suspend trading of stock in GameStop and a number of other companies on Thursday has sparked criticism and promised inquiries from both sides of the aisle.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
38 mins ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.