NH House Leaders Comments on Attorney General’s Effort to Waste Taxpayer Funds on Politically Driven Lawsuit Against Energy Firms

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) offered the following comments regarding the Attorney General seeking to use taxpayer funds to hire an out-of-state counsel for a multi-state lawsuit against energy companies for “unjust enrichment.”  The request for these funds will come before the Fiscal Committee this Friday.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“For an Attorney General who refused to join with 28 other states in the lawsuit against ObamaCare, which represents a massive unfunded mandate to our state taxpayers, and which threatens the liberty of every New Hampshire resident, to suddenly rush to waste taxpayer money to join a speculative and likely frivolous lawsuit against energy companies is a sad day for our state.  It tragically shows just how committed General Delaney is to driving his Democrat political agenda, at the expense of both our citizens and the credibility and integrity of the Department of Justice. Once again, politics trumps justice for Michael Delaney.

“Furthermore, numerous investigations by both economists and law enforcement have consistently shown that the reason that gas prices rise is the reality of market forces, and most notably, the high price of crude oil, not the liberal fiction of price fixing by energy companies.  While we certainly do need a national energy policy, this lawsuit will accomplish absolutely nothing in that regard.  It will hit New Hampshire taxpayers twice: first as they pay these unwarranted legal bills and then finally as it adds to the cost of energy companies doing business, which they will pass on to consumers. For this reason, and as an attempt to restore some semblance of reliability to the reputation of the Department of Justice, the House will strongly oppose this ill-conceived waste of taxpayer funds at Fiscal Committee later this week.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“March 31, 2013 can’t arrive fast enough.  We can only hope that is the day that a Republican governor will put a responsible and nonpartisan Attorney General in command at the Department of Justice.  Fortunately, New Hampshire is less than a year away from being able to restore the reputation of a Department that demands professional, focused leadership that sets aside ideology.  Sadly, this episode once again highlights just how far this Attorney General has taken his personal partisan politics and placed them ahead of the best interests of our citizens.  It’s unfortunate that he cannot see the damage he is doing to what has always been a highly respected agency. Granite Staters deserve better.  We need change in the Attorney General’s Office, and the sooner the better.”


Attached: Fiscal Item requesting authority to hire out-of-state law firm