(WBNG Binghamton) Republican State Senator Tom Libous said he read the Bloomberg article titled "NY Senate Fracking Backer Tied to Firm With Gas Lease" Thursday morning. He called the article disjointed.
The article detailed the relationship Libous has with Luciano Piccirilli. Piccirilli operates Da Vinci II LLC. Libous's wife, Frances, was a founding partner. They transferred their interest in the company to Mario Mughetti in 2008.
"We were never involved in it when it owned property in Chenango County. We were involved in it at a time when there were no holdings in the company." said Libous.
Da Vinci II owns 230 acres of land in Plymouth in Chenango County which the article said has a drilling lease.
Libous said he does want to see natural gas drilling go forward in New York and cited the new jobs and economic growth it could create. When asked if he stands to personally benefit Libous said no.
"I own the property up in Oquaga Lake but I don't believe there will be any drilling up there. Other than that I own property in Florida which is on my disclosure. So, at this point and time I can honestly tell you I own no property and don't believe I have any properties that will benefit from gas drilling and that's as honest as I can be."
Libous does co-own property in Florida with a company called Da Vinci II Real Estate. Libous said it is separate and different than Da Vicni II, LLC.
A statement issued by Vestal Residents For Safe Energy said Libous should come clean about his relationship with Da Vinci II LLC and the fracking industry.
"Perhaps these personal relationships and contributions explain why he has long disregarded the science on fracking, blindly touting the gas industry's misinformation and talking points even as countless 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 have warned otherwise." said Sue Rapp of VeRSE and Safe the Southern Tier.
"I've worked at this job for 25 years. I know probably half the people in he Southern Tier on a first name basis. I would hope that the 8 or 9 thousand property owners are going to benefit, that's why I am fighting so hard for this," Libous said.