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View Diary: Bidder #70 Released From Prison For Earth Day/ UPDATED with interview from "Democracy Now" (72 comments)

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  •  I did (5+ / 0-)

    It made no sense whatsoever.

    I don't know how leases for mineral extraction work.  For wireless leases, you have a lot of latitude.  (For example, you're not supposed to bid for leases just for the purpose of levering up and then reselling them, but the penalty is to have the offer withdrawn and given to the next highest bidder.  And you are allowed to borrow money against the lease to start your own cell phone network.  That's how McCaw Cellular, which became the core of AT&T wireless, got started.)

    I don't think that he would have been able to raise enough money on his own for all of the leases, and I do believe that the feds expect a royalty stream.  But he could have covered himself by subletting the leasing rights to oil companies for more than it cost to buy all of them, imposing strict environmental rules and keeping as much of them as he could out of development.  I'm not convinced he'd be able to get the resources to do that, but if not, it goes to the next highest bidder.  Or they can disqualify him on the grounds that he doesn't have the financial capacity.  But prison?  That's really bizarre.

    And what does the legality of the auction have to do with that?  Wouldn't it be Bush's interior department that goes to prison?

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