NHDP Calls on Charlie Bass to Denounce Rep. Joe Barton's Shameful Comments, Crawl out of the Pocket of Big Oil

Does Charlie Bass agree with his recent endorsee that BP shouldn't have to pay for damage done by the terrible oil spill in the Gulf?

Concord - In congressional hearings today, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas apologized to the chief executive of BP for having to take responsibility for his company's oil spill.  Barton added that it was a "tragedy" that BP would have to pay to repair the damage it has caused.

Just two weeks ago Barton was in Belknap County endorsing Charlie Bass in the second Congressional District Republican Primary.  Bass called Barton, who has taken over $1.4 million in campaign contributions from oil companies, a "great member of Congress, and a good friend."  [Citizen.com, Granitegrok.com]

"It's disgraceful that Rep. Joe Barton thinks BP shouldn't be held responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico," said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.  "The tax payers in the second Congressional district deserve to know if Charlie Bass agrees with Rep. Barton's outrageous claim."

During his 12 years in Congress, oil companies could consistently count on Bass's vote to deliver billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to pad their bottom line. [HR4297, Vote #121, 5/03/06] And Bass voted in favor of exempting the oil and gas industries from clean-water laws, streamlining permits for oil wells on public lands.  [HR 6, Vote #445, 7/28/05] 

"Bass's numerous votes to give oil companies tax breaks and subsidies, paid for by the American tax payers, are shameful," continued Kirstein.  "And the real tragedy is that Bass continues to recklessly support big oil, even calling for drilling off the coast of New Hampshire."

Weeks after the BP oil spill began, Bass continued to support drilling on all of America's coasts.  As recently as June 3rd, Bass said, "every coastline ought to be involved" in our national off-shore drilling policy.

"Do all the Republican candidates for U.S. House and Senate think we should risk having the same kind terrible disaster that occurred in the Gulf happen on New Hampshire's coast?" asked Kirstein.  "Where do Kelly Ayotte, Jim Bender, Bill Binnie, Ovide Lamontagne, Rich Ashooh, Bob Bestani, Bob Giuda, Frank Guinta, Sean Mahoney, Jennifer Horn and the Republicans who were at the fundraising event with Joe Barton and Charlie Bass stand on drilling off New Hampshire's coast?"