Rep. Murphy says oil companies should help pay heating bills for Connecticut’s poor

Rep. Chris Murphy wrote a letter to the CEOs of five major oil companies Friday, asking them to chip in for the heating bills of Connecticut’s low-income residents.

Murphy’s gambit comes amid news that Operation Fuel, a Bloomfield-based nonprofit charity, has run out of money for its heating assistance program and stopped accepting applications from needy families. And the LIHEAP, the federal low-income heating assistance program, is under the budget knife in Washington.

The 5th District Democrat said ExxonMobil and other corporate giants could easily fill the gap.

“The oil companies are swimming in money,” he said. “The least they can do is help people in need get access to their increasingly unaffordable product.”

Murphy took a somewhat gentler tone in his missive, sent to ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil, Chevron, and BP America. But it still seems unlikely they’ll respond to his sharp-tongued entreaty by opening their corporate wallets.