SQUADRON CALLS FOR JCOPE INVESTIGATION OF ED COX'S FRACKING CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

Joins Senator Kennedy and Growing Chorus Calling for Review of Cox's Fracking Advocacy While Sitting on Nobel Energy Board and Holding Millions in Stock


NEW YORK --  State Senator Daniel Squadron is urging the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) to launch an investigation into State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox's apparent conflict of interest, as Cox travels the state advocating for hydrofracking while sitting on the board of -- and holding millions in stock in -- Nobel Energy, one of the nation's largest natural gas exploration companies.


Squadron's call follows Senator Tim Kennedy's push for an investigation last week, and comes on the heels of an editorial in today's Daily Gazette.

"Advocating for the hydrofracking industry as the state’s Republican party chairman -- with personal financial interests in a company that stands to dramatically benefit from hydrofracking -- raises serious ethical issues and should warrant a JCOPE investigation," wrote Squadron in a letter sent today to JCOPE Chair Daniel Horwitz. "I urge the commission to immediately look into these questions and potential conflict of interest. New Yorkers deserve to know for whom Ed Cox speaks: the party he represents, or his own bottom line."

The full letter can be read below.

November 13, 2013

Daniel J. Horwitz, Chair
New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics
540 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207

Dear Mr. Horwitz,

Today's editorial in The Daily Gazette ("GOP's Cox should keep quiet about hydrofracking") raises the very same questions as the Associated Press' report last week on State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox traveling the state to advocate for hydrofracking – while sitting on the corporate board of Nobel Energy, one of the nation's largest natural gas exploration companies, and holding millions in stock there.


Is Ed Cox using his statewide position as chair of one of the state's two major parties to advocate on behalf of a corporation that pays him more than a quarter-million dollars a year -- and of which he holds more than $4.25 million in stock? Does his financial interest pose a conflict of interest, and should Mr. Cox have to register as a lobbyist for Nobel?

It seems that Mr. Cox needs to choose either his duties to our state's democratic system as the Chair of the Republican Party, or his position as a multi-million dollar investor and board member of Noble Energy -- and if he continues lobbying, he should comply with the law by registering as a lobbyist. 

Advocating for the hydrofracking industry as the state’s Republican party chairman -- with personal financial interests in a company that stands to dramatically benefit from hydrofracking -- raises serious ethical issues and should warrant a JCOPE investigation.

I urge the commission to immediately look into these questions and potential conflict of interest. New Yorkers deserve to know for whom Ed Cox speaks: the party he represents, or his own bottom line.

Sincerely,

Daniel Squadron
State Senator
26th District

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