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Harold Hamm, Continental Resources CEO and oil industry giant, listens intently to Donald Trump speak at a press conference prior to the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck in May 2016.

Hamm joins Trump’s short list of cabinet prospects

As the dust settles from this year’s presidential election, conversation has already turned to Donald Trump’s proposed cabinet. Big names like Rudy Guiliani, former New York City Mayor, and other “like-minded CEOs,” top the list for positions in Trump’s cabinet.

What does this mean for the oil and gas industry? One of the industry’s most prominent businessmen could hold a position, championing oil and gas policy that would encourage energy independence and minimal regulation for oil and gas drillers. Several sources have cited Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm as one of Trump’s top choices as energy secretary. An October 13 Politico article speculated :

A Trump Cabinet might include Hamm as Energy secretary and Forrest Lucas, CEO of oil products company Lucas Oil, as Interior secretary.

The prospect of oil industry executives like Hamm and Lucas making decisions about the federal government’s lands, drilling and environmental policy has environmental activists worried. They fear the executives would put the interests of the oil industry over those of the general public.

Hamm would be the first U.S. energy secretary directly recruited from the oil and gas industry. Hamm has called for expanded drilling in addition to cuts on environmental regulation that curb U.S. oil production. He says limiting production at home threatens America’s ability to hold its own against OPEC affiliated countries. According to Reuters, Hamm reiterated his stance at a speech during the Republican National Convention to a cheering crowd:

Every time we can’t drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded. Every onerous regulation puts American lives at risk.”



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