The New York Times published an editorial June 6 announcing the “welcome development” that six large European gas and oil companies are asking for a fee to be placed on carbon emissions.

The oil companies want “an efficient and predictable policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions because they realize that something must be done.”

A large number of economists, scientists and environmentalists agree that carbon should be priced. As environmental activist Bill McKibben points out, only the fossil fuels industry “gets to dump its garbage for free.”

The Times editorial declared that fees collected “should surely be given to households … through tax credits or direct payments to offset the higher prices they would have to pay for gasoline,” etc., that would be prompted by the fees. Some of the households would use their dividends to convert to cleaner energy. A “welcome development,” indeed.

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby has long been urging Congress to enact 100 percent revenue-neutral fee and dividend carbon-pricing legislation such as that described in the Times.

In late June, Citizens’ Climate Lobby members from chapters all over the country will meet in D.C. to lobby members of Congress to enact carbon pricing.

Many Democrats in Congress already favor the idea. Maine CCLers will meet with Sen. Susan Collins and 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin, both Republicans, to seek their support.

Might oil lobbyists join forces with Citizens’ Climate Lobby? What a welcome development that would be!

Fern Stearns