Exxon wants brakes put on state's use of MtBE settlement for anything but cleanup
“You don’t want to limit their flexibility,” he said, “because they may face some situations in the future that we didn’t anticipate. There is no doubt that MTBE is going to be cleaned up. It’s only a question of how much flexibility the state is going to have.”
“Can there be any doubt as to why the state did not tell the jury that it actually intended to convert any award for future testing and remediation into a contribution by ExxonMobil to New Hampshire’s general budget,” they wrote.
“Unlike private corporations, money that goes into the general fund doesn’t go to pay a CEO bonus; it all goes to the public benefit and public programs,” he said. “It’s not a black hole. It’s a source of all the public services in New Hampshire.”
“The state must ensure it has adequate resources to test and treat new Hampshire’s waters in the future,” he wrote. “Thus the court agrees with Exxon’s first argument — that a trust is necessary to protect the (result) of the jury award — but only to a limited extent.”
In making its case, ExxonMobil cites the fact that the state is now using $21 million from a national settlement reached with tobacco companies and $9 million in previous MTBE settlements to help create the current state budget surplus, and has invested little in tobacco education.
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