– Libous Should Recuse Himself from Fracking Moratorium Deliberations

May 9, 2013

Senator Tom Libous, the pro-fracking industry floor leader, has pledged to prevent his colleagues from ever casting their vote

For Immediate Release: May 9, 2013
Travis Proulx, Environmental Advocates, 518-462-5526 x238
Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 914-478-4501 x239

Libous Should Recuse Himself from Fracking Moratorium Deliberations Due to Apparent Conflict of Interest

Statement from the New York Water Rangers

“Senator Tom Libous, the pro-fracking industry floor leader of a chamber already riddled with chaos and dysfunction, has pledged to prevent his colleagues from ever having the opportunity to democratically cast their vote on a common-sense fracking moratorium bill.

In today’s Bloomberg News, the public learned the extent of the Senator’s deep-rooted personal and financial interests regarding fracking in New York State – and the results are alarming. The gas industry’s influence has seeped into the Albany political process, placing the protection of New Yorker’s health and environment at serious risk. First the public learned that consulting firms involved in the State’s environmental review had undisclosed industry connections. Then we found out that former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell penned a New York Daily News oped criticizing Governor Cuomo without disclosing his own financial ties to the industry.

The New York Water Rangers coalition applauds Governor Cuomo for keeping his promise to wait for the science on fracking’s health and environmental impacts before he makes a decision. Nonetheless, it is clear that certain pro-frackers will stop at nothing when it comes to furthering their own interests. We urge Governor Cuomo and his administration to ensure that the information they have received throughout this process has not been politically influenced in any way. We also implore Senator Libous to come clean about his personal interests in fracking; unless and until he can demonstrate the allegations are untrue, the Senator should recuse himself and stop blocking legislative consideration of the moratorium bills introduced by his colleagues.

This is an opportunity for the leaders of the Majority Coalition – Senators Skelos and Klein – to demonstrate their commitment to democracy. Independently-elected Senators not only deserve the right to vote their conscience, but have an obligation to show the public where they stand on the fracking moratorium. We call on Senator Libous to step back, allow his colleagues the opportunity to cast their votes, and for the Senate to take this important step towards rebuilding public confidence in transparent decision-making, which is so desperately needed in Albany right now.”