Acknowledging the “irony” of how a business practice that’s illegal in New York State helped keep the Buffalo Bills in Western New York, billionaire Terry Pegula defended the controversial gas drilling method better known as hydro-fracking.  The Bills and Sabres owner’s comments came during an interview that aired on Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports, Tuesday night.

“I’m very proud of what I do. I’m in the oil and gas business I have been my whole life.  I believe my industry is getting some publicity it doesn’t deserve,” Pegula said.

As detailed in the 60 Minutes Sports report, Pegula turned a $7,500 loan from friends and family into the oil and gas company, East Resources Inc.  The company formed in the 1980’s and eventually became a multi-billion dollar business, thanks in part to drilling in the Marcellus Shale region across New York’s border in Pennsylvania.

In 2014, Pegula sold the gas drilling rights of thousands of acres of land in Ohio for $1.75 billion.  It was a deal that went through a little before Pegula bought the Bills for $1.4 billion.

Pegula is seen by many in Western New York as a hero for purchasing the Bills, as at least one outside bidder proposed moving the team to Toronto.  Even those who oppose fracking haven’t shied away from singing his praises, including Governor Cuomo.

Pegula was a significant donor to Governor Cuomo’s re-election campaign last year, even as it appeared his administration was moving closer to a permanent fracking ban.  The apparent ties between the two led Green Party Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins to lash out at Pegula, calling his fracking profits a “scandal.”

Even as the State DEC moved to officially ban fracking this summer, the perceived mutual goal of rebuilding Buffalo continued to tie the Governor and Bills-Sabres owner together.  Pegula was careful not to criticize Cuomo or his policies directly, Tuesday night.

“There is some irony there though, is there not? Asked CBS Correspondent Jeff Glor. “It’s a practice that’s still not allowed in New York State and in large part has kept the Bills in New York State.”

“Yeah,” Pegula said. “That’s quite a twist isn’t it?”