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SEP 23- SEP 30, 2014

Fracking Dollars Saves SportsTeam in Fracking-Free NY
Celebrating Pegula's Purchase of Bills, Leads Some to Celebrate Fracking

By Mike Hudson

September 23, 2014

In 2010, Terry Pegula sold acreage in the Marcellus and other areas to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion for fracking. A few months ago Pegula sold fracking- resources for $1.75 billion. His fracking-related monies have flowed into fracking-free New York through the purchase of the Bills. And, a few years ago, the Sabres.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo found himself in an odd position earlier this month. The controversial practice of hydrofracking in order to extract natural gas from shale deposits is currently illegal in the state, and has become a hot political issue for the governor who has commissioned a study to weigh the benefits and potential hazards.

He's been under pressure from oil and gas producers to lift the ban, while environmentalists demonstrate regularly to maintain it. It will be Cuomo's call, and uncertainty about which way he'll come down has led more than 50 New York municipalities to impose bans of their own.

Enter Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey franchise and,, pending final league approval, the new owner of the Buffalo Bills.

Cuomo was elated that Pegula bought the team.

There had been a lot of talk about the club moving to Toronto.

"God bless Terry Pegula," Cuomo was quoted as saying. "Start making the statue of Terry Pegula right now and make it big."

Pure political hyperbole of the sort New Yorkers are used to, right? Except for the fact that Pegula made the lion's share of his huge fortune selling vast amounts of land to companies for use as hydrofracking fields.

The money used to buy both the Bills and the Sabres was directly generated by the fracking industry.

There are a lot of things that are illegal in New York, of course, drug dealing for one. If drug money had been used to buy the Bills, would Cuomo have called for the dealer in question to be honored with a big statue?

And will his call for God to bless Pegula affect his decision on whether or not to lift the state's fracking ban? If Cuomo allows it to remain illegal here, will he call for the Bills sale to be reversed?

Whether you are pro or anti fracking, these are interesting questions to ponder. Does it matter where money comes from, how it is made?

In the case of Terry Pegula, lionized by Cuomo as a community savior, apparently it does not.






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