CONCORD - While Kelly Ayotte has adamantly pushed uninterrupted drilling even off the coast of New Hampshire in the wake of the largest oil spill in this country's history, she has remained completely silent on whether she supports efforts to raise the liability cap on big oil companies.
Currently the amount that big oil companies are forced to pay for damages is capped at $75 million. The President and Democratic leaders have undertaken efforts in Washington to lift the cap and ensure oil companies are held accountable for every cent of damage incurred by reckless drilling practices.
Efforts have been stonewalled by Republicans, including Senator Jim Inhofe, who single-handedly blocked a bill to increase the liability cap of Big Oil to $10 billion. Inhofe has supported Ayotte's campaign and has donated $5,000 to her so far through his Political Action Committee. [Opensecrets.com, Accessed 6/8/10].
"Thousands of barrels of oil continue to spill into the Gulf and the only thing Kelly Ayotte says is - keep drilling," said Emily Browne, Press Secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "She hasn't said one word about making sure Big Oil is responsible for every cent of the clean up, or one word about whether she will defend one of her supporters' efforts to completely block raising the liability cap going forward."
Ayotte has also spent the week pushing to keep open the option of drilling off New England's coast. She said it would be a "big mistake" to take lifting the ban on New England drilling "off the table." [Fosters, 6/4/10].
"No matter the cost to our environment, our economy, and our communities, Ayotte is making it clear she'll continue to defend the interests of the oil companies before the interests of New Hampshire," said Browne.