Maine bill to strengthen consumer protections on prepaid oil gains approval to be heard

By Darrin Fishell - March 5th, 2011 · 

The bill, which was submitted after the deadline for new legislation in 2011, gained the required approval by the ten member Legislative Council made up of House and Senate Republican and Democratic leadership, for inclusion in this legislative session.

“With the closure of Thibeault Energy it has become clear that sufficient safeguard’s where not in place to protect consumers,” said Cornell du Houx. “I hope that this legislation will provide a long-term solution to protect consumers and prevent oil dealers from failing to hold up their end of the deal in the future.”

The proposed legislation would strengthen existing safeguards by requiring oil dealers to acquire a surety bond for the amount of the prepaid funds. In addition it will require that all pre-paid customers will be the first to receive their money back in bankruptcy. Currently costumers are one of the last to be paid.

Cornell du Houx, will work with other legislators as well as oil dealers to craft final language for the proposal which will then proceed through the full legislative process.