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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oilman Andy

     He's at it again.
     Having poked around in the political hornets nest of insurance for public employees, now he's drilling for oil and hoping to net the state some badly needed bucks in the process.
      House Speaker Andy Dillon seeks to reinvent the way the state does business with the oil and gas exploration folks and those folks don't like it one iota.
     For years, speculators obtained a lease from the state, got a shovel and drill and went to work.  Dillon supports a "joint venture" whereby the oil and gas guys would partner with the state to search for black gold and gas.
     And if Dillon is right, the state could increase its profits from the current 18% for selling the lease to 58% of the take from whatever is found underground.
     That's what reportedly happened in Oklahoma, Texas and Kentucky, ya'all.
     Dillon thinks the current system has been "poorly managed." Too often those who get the lease sit on it and never poke a hole in the ground.  Supposedly with the state involved, there would be more poking and maybe more largess for the state's woefully empty coffers.
     But the lobbyist for the industry says, ""There's nothing good for the state in this," and on top of that Frank Mortl thinks it is illegal and would require a constitutional change to implement.
     Bottom line, the speaker has another political war on another front.  That's two and counting.


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