An Oklahoma energy leader has the ear of a presidential candidate.
Mitt Romney announced Thursday that Continental Resources Inc. CEO Harold Hamm will serve as chairman of Romney's Energy Policy Advisory Group.
“Energy is not just an industry. It is the lifeblood of our economy,” Romney said in a statement. “An affordable, reliable supply of energy is crucial to the bottom line of every business and every family.”
The announcement was made in Fargo, N.D., near where Continental Resources is producing more than 80,000 barrels of oil per day.
“The lessons I've learned and the experience I've had have put me in a position to be able to advise someone on what will work and what won't,” Hamm said. “The rhetoric surrounding energy and its importance has skyrocketed in the past few years. It's a very important topic and a very specialized subject.”
Hamm said he has talked to Romney about why he believes federal restrictions should be reduced on drilling, building new pipelines and otherwise updating the country's energy infrastructure.
The Oklahoma business leader said he chose to back the former Massachusetts governor because of Romney's business background.
“He's a businessman,” Hamm said. “He understands what it takes to make a profit and run a business and pay em
Romney has called for regulatory reform designed to make it easier and faster for companies to receive drilling permits.
“Energy is an extremely important topic in this campaign,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. “As president, Mr. Romney will encourage new oil exploration as well as other sources of fuel to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy.”
With a clear and streamlined energy policy, Hamm said, America can become energy inde
“We've come a long ways. We're supplying half of our energy needs now,” Hamm said. “If we have a president who won't hinder our progress, we can become totally independent of some volatile parts of the world, such as the Middle East. We can develop that right here at home and have a stable energy supply for lots and lots of years to come.”