In this Oct. 5, 2022, file photo, Lucinda Tyler and Aaron Raymo sit outside their home with fuel containers they used to fill their heating oil tank at their home in Jay. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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While oil companies are using their record profits to buy back stocks and increase their own and shareholders’ profits, the state government is facing criticism because of its unhurried pace in deciding whether to use taxpayer money to subsidize heating, including from oil, for homeowners. There is no doubt that homeowners need the relief, and this should be pushed through as soon as possible in the short term. The long term, however, must look markedly different.

Subsidizing oil company profits with taxpayer money essentially means we, as taxpayers, pay for our heating oil twice. We know that regulation of any corporation, especially ones as well-funded, and well-represented is difficult. I believe mega-mergers and crony capitalism have created monolithic entities that are, if not invulnerable, at the very least formidable. What do we elect lawmakers for if they can’t tackle the difficult problems?

I, like many of my friends and neighbors, spent freely of our time, shoe leather and gasoline knocking on doors to get out the vote. Now, we need action from the lawmakers we sent to Augusta and Washington. Limit the fleecing of America and demand public responsibility from corporations.

Lucian Laurie

Boothbay