Letter to IDC Regarding Senator Libous

NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein
Temporary President and IDC Coalition Leader
Legislative Office Building, Room 913
Albany, NY 12247
United States

Dear Senators Klein, Savino, Carlucci, and Valesky,

As residents and organizations across New York State’s Southern Tier, we are gravely concerned about fracking and the misrepresentation we have received on the issue from our own Senator Tom Libous, and we are writing to request your assistance and leadership in ensuring our health and best interests are protected. The revelation yesterday from Bloomberg News that Senator Libous has personal relationships and a conflict of interest with fracking in the region as a result of connections with his business partners and major campaign donors who stand to financially benefit from fracking underscores that he is neither objective nor a voice for his constituents on fracking. Indeed, the ties between Senator Libous and his previous business partner who stands to benefit significantly from fracking, Luciano Piccirilli, run deep including the at least $28,000 that Piccirilli has donated in campaign contributions to Senator Libous. This disturbing information builds on the fact that Senator Libous took $190,700 in campaign contributions from fracking and related industries in 2012.

These outrageous circumstances indicate a potential explanation why Senator Libous has long touted fracking and the gas industry’s talking points in spite of the best science and evidence to the contrary. Indeed, he has blindly advocated for the gas industry’s interests in spite of warnings from medical experts, scientists, and major health organizations like the Medical Society of New York, the American Academy of Pediatrics of NY, and the American Lung Association of NY. Additionally, Senator Libous has often proclaimed that an overwhelming majority of Southern Tier residents want fracking, yet constituent petitions, phone calls, letters, and polling show that the region is split on the issue or opposed to fracking.

We were greatly disturbed in early March to hear Senator Libous vow to “make sure no (moratorium) bill passes the senate” and that, “I’m going to lobby my colleagues in the IDC. I’m going to lobby my Republican colleagues.” Passing a two-year moratorium is a common-sense measure to allow critical, first-of-their-kind comprehensive health studies to be done and to ensure that New York State undertakes an adequate public health study.

As residents of the Southern Tier, we are in the region first targeted for fracking. Our water, air, local businesses, and the health of our families are at the greatest risk. And yet our Senate representative is not only speaking for the oil and gas industry instead of us, he is actively working to undermine efforts by others to ensure that the science on fracking is heeded and that our health is protected.

As leaders in the New York State Senate, we respectfully implore you to bring the two-year moratorium on fracking bill to the Senate floor for a vote and pass it.  Our homes and the health of our families depend on it. With leadership comes responsibility, and that entails bringing the moratorium to the floor for a vote. Additionally, we ask that you denounce Senator Libous’ statements and his conflict of interest with the gas industry.

Sincerely,

Save The Southern Tier

  • Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan
  • Sue Rapp, Broome County
  • Logan Adsit, Chenango County
  • David Walczak, Steuben County
  • Gerri Wiley, Tioga County

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