What Donald Trump, Bon Jovi, and Fracking Have in Common

National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
Aug. 12, 2014, 1:10 a.m.

Three un­likely ad­versar­ies are squar­ing off to buy West­ern New York’s cher­ished foot­ball team the Buf­falo Bills.

Don­ald Trump, Bon Jovi, and frack­ing bil­lion­aire Terry Pegula have all put in bids to be­come the new own­er of the NFL fran­chise with the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of los­ing the Su­per Bowl four years in a row.

Pegula can’t com­pete with the star power of Trump or Bon Jovi, but he’s con­sidered the front-run­ner in the sports team show­down. Pegula’s bid would keep the Bills in Buf­falo. He also has the fin­an­cial muscle to pull off the pur­chase. The Pennsylvania nat­ive is the founder of a nat­ur­al-gas drilling com­pany called East Re­sources and has gobs of money from oil and gas. 

Trump and Bon Jovi, mean­while, have hit a few hurdles in their ef­fort to buy the Bills.

Bon Jovi has partnered with Toronto-based Maple Leaf Sports and En­ter­tain­ment Chair­man Larry Tan­en­baum and the own­ers of Ca­na­dian me­dia com­pany Ro­gers Com­mu­nic­a­tions. But the group’s ini­tial bid was re­jec­ted after the in­vest­ment firm over­see­ing the sale deemed it “un­com­pet­it­ively low.” (The of­fer re­portedly came in at un­der $900 mil­lion.)

The rock star has also faced a tor­rent of back­lash in the Rust Belt city amid spec­u­la­tion that he plans to move the team to Toronto. Ra­dio sta­tions, bars and res­taur­ants have even stopped play­ing his songs in protest. 

Trump’s pro­spects aren’t look­ing too bright either. The busi­ness mogul has even said he doesn’t ex­pect to win. “I would say the chances are very, very un­likely,” Trump told Fox News in late Ju­ly. 

That leaves just a hand­ful of likely con­tenders, with Pegula so far primed to take the top spot.

The frack­ing bil­lion­aire has in­ves­ted heav­ily in the de­vel­op­ment of down­town Buf­falo, and be­come pop­u­lar with loc­al polit­ic­ans and city res­id­ents as a res­ult. “C’mon, it has to be Pegula. Any­body but Bon Jovi,” Bills fan Mi­chael Thomas said when Syra­cuse.com asked who should win the team. 

Bid­ders are sub­ject to a nondis­clos­ure agree­ment, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to say for cer­tain who is in the lead. Early re­ports had Pegula’s ini­tial bid at $1.3 bil­lion for the team. But For­bes re­por­ted over the week­end that Bon Jovi, Trump, and Pegula all offered less than $1 bil­lion in first-round of­fers. 

Pegula has plenty of cash on hand. Last week, his com­pany East Re­sources sold close to $2 bil­lion in drilling rights in West Vir­gin­ia and Ohio. The mult­i­bil­lion­aire also claims to have ex­tens­ive fossil-fuel hold­ings in a num­ber of states, in­clud­ing New York, West Vir­gin­ia, and Pennsylvania.

Frack­ing, the drilling tech­nique that uses high-pres­sure wa­ter and chem­ic­al in­jec­tions to un­leash nat­ur­al gas from shale rock form­a­tions, is cur­rently off-lim­its in New York State.

De­fend­ers say it can be done safely. But stud­ies that link wells drilled to earth­quakes and ground­wa­ter con­tam­in­a­tion have sparked a firestorm of con­tro­versy across the coun­try.

None of this has stopped Pegula from proudly talk­ing about where his money comes from. After snap­ping up the Sabres, Buf­falo’s NHL team, in 2011, the fossil-fuel mag­nate fam­ously said: “If I want to make some money, I’ll go drill a gas well.”

A vic­tor in the Buf­falo Bills bid­ding war won’t be crowned for a few weeks at the earli­est, with a de­cision likely to ar­rive at the start of Oc­to­ber. That means there’s still time for bid­ders to in­crease their of­fers.

But as it stands two of the city’s most be­loved sports teams could soon be owned by a man who owes his for­tune to frack­ing. 

What We're Following See More »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
1 days ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
1 days ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
1 days ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
1 days ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login