ExxonMobil and Sierra Club Agreed on Climate Policy—and Kept It Secret

A forgotten accord reached in 2009 may yet have relevance for the future of U.S. climate policy.
Photographer: Luke Sharett/Bloomberg

ExxonMobil and Sierra Club may be thought of as natural enemies, particularly when it comes to a question so tricky as how to address climate change. That's what two men named David thought, too, when they first met in 2008 to talk about a climate policy with very little support: a national tax on industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Secretly, however, they found that a common problem—the threat of unwieldy legislation—can for a time scramble the very idea of friends and enemies.

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