Energy chiefs' message: Actions, not words, will determine energy future

BY HAROLD HAMM, AUBREY MCCLENDON, LARRY NICHOLS AND TOM WARD Published: March 21, 2012
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Welcome to Oklahoma, President Obama. We hope you develop a better understanding of the oil and gas industry, one of the largest and most vibrant sectors in the United States, during your visit. As Americans, we share a mutual desire to power our nation with homegrown energy sources. We join you in wanting to secure our energy future by lessening our dangerous dependency on imported oil.

No energy source can do more good for America than domestic oil and gas. You often mention the need for more well-paying jobs. Our companies are creating them — in particular, tens of thousands of every skill level from rig workers and truck drivers to top-flight engineers and Ph.D.s.

The paradigm shift in American oil and gas exploration and production is the brightest spot in our struggling economy. Keeping it going requires understanding of some critical business realities:

Approval of the entire Keystone XL pipeline should happen now — not after the election. Yes, we are pleased TransCanada decided to build a critical section of the project from Cushing to the Gulf Coast. We note that this section doesn't require State Department approval. However, America's greatest benefit will come when we can transport oil from our best energy partner, Canada, and oil-rich North Dakota and Montana.

Private-sector innovation led to the combination of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing resulting in the most significant resource revolution in the nation's history. The safe and responsible application of these technologies has added new proven gas and oil reserves once inconceivable, and it has made U.S. energy independence a distinct possibility in just the next 10 years. We have now safely and successfully fracture treated 1.2 million wells in the U.S. since 1948 and more than 45,000 wells in 2011 — a safety record that would be the envy of any industry in the country.



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