Larsen, Norelli: O’Brien, Republicans Should Not Put Big Oil Before NH Taxpayers, Consumers
Larsen, Norelli: O’Brien, Republicans Should Not Put Big Oil Before New Hampshire Taxpayers, Consumers
CONCORD – Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen and House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli said today that Speaker Bill O’Brien, Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt and other Republicans should not be putting the interests of big oil companies ahead of New Hampshire taxpayers and consumers.
New Hampshire, like many other states, has a taxpayer-funded petroleum cleanup fund. Twenty-five states have filed lawsuits against big oil companies for double dipping on cleanup costs – collecting money both from taxpayers and their insurance companies for the same cleanup expenses.
Attorney General Michael Delaney has presented a request to the Legislative Fiscal Committee for New Hampshire to join these efforts. O’Brien and Bettencourt viciously attacked the request, joined by their allies at Americans for Prosperity – which is reportedly funded by the Koch Brothers, who have significant oil interests.
“O’Brien and House Republicans are putting the interests of big oil before New Hampshire taxpayers,” Norelli said. “Big oil companies should not be able to make a profit off of polluting New Hampshire’s environment. Why does O’Brien think it is okay for oil companies to charge New Hampshire taxpayers for the same costs they are getting reimbursed for by their insurance companies?”
Unfortunately, O’Brien and Bettencourt’s statements are part of a larger pattern by the current legislature to put out-of-state corporate interests ahead of New Hampshire consumers and taxpayers. This legislature voted to allow out-of-state companies to charge 300 percent interest rates; to cut the tobacco tax by 10 cents at the same time it cut funding for higher education in half; and even against protecting customers who pre-pay for their home heating oil.
“New Hampshire taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill while big oil companies rake in the bucks from their insurance companies,” Larsen said. “We will support the Attorney General’s efforts to protect New Hampshire consumers, and we hope that reasonable Republicans in the legislature will join us in putting consumers first.”
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