Energy policy discussed at Republican Convention

Oil and Gas

Oil and natural gas became a part of the Republican convention in Cleveland when Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm told delegates that Donald Trump wants to make the U.S. energy independent.

It has been rumored that Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources in Oklahoma City, will be appointed to Secretary of Energy if Trump is elected. 

However, the Department of Energy doesn’t have much to do with energy policy.  Ever since Jimmy Carter created the cabinet-level agency in 1977, it has been more involved in overseeing nuclear issues than creating a broad-based energy policy.  Actually, energy policy is achieved through 13 other agencies including the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Securities and Exchange Commission and on and on.

Hamm would make an excellent advisor to any President regarding energy policy.  He has been involved in advocating a strong domestic energy industry for many years.

He has served as President of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and as head of two national organizations, Save Domestic Oil and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, of which he is the current Chairman.

Hamm served as energy advisor to Mitt Romney during his Presidential campaign four years ago, and he led the successful charge to lift the ban on crude oil exports last year.

Hamm began his speech at the convention by talking about the Energy Renaissance in America, and the danger that the Obama administration has placed on becoming energy independent through a multitude of new regulations of the oil and gas industry.

When U.S. oil production peaked in April 2015 at 9.7 million barrels per day it was within 5 million barrels per day of being entirely self-sufficient in crude oil.  Oil production has declined to 8.9 million barrels per day in April 2016, because of low prices and a decline in activity.

At the height of the renaissance, net import of petroleum liquids fell to 25 percent of U.S. consumption.  Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities originally designed to import LNG have been retrofitted to export LNG because the U.S. produces an oversupply of natural gas currently.  Even employment in the petroleum industry was rising at a record pace.

Hamm said each barrel of oil produced in the U.S. creates jobs, pays taxes, builds the economy, and replaces another barrel of oil that must be imported. 

Domestic oil enhances national security, he said.

He noted that Hillary Clinton, the apparent nominee of the Democrats, wants to continue Obama’s assault on fossil fuels, which would play right into the hands for foreign oil producers looking to increase their market share in the U.S. and abroad.

He concluded by pointing out that building a strong domestic energy industry would “make America great again.”

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