A group of Oklahoma oilmen is leading the push for U.S. energy independence by focusing on how increased domestic energy would benefit the country's allies, especially Israel.
The revived Council for a Secure America is led by co-chairman Harold Hamm, CEO at Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. The council's secretary is Mike Cantrell, vice president of government and regulatory affairs at Continental.
In addition, three council directors are from Oklahoma: Berry J. Mullennix is president and CEO of Tulsa-based Panther Energy Co., Jerry R. Simmons is executive director of the Tulsa-based National Association of Royalty Owners and Mike Terry is president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.
The group's website states that the council “was established by key domestic oil and gas producers and leaders of the Jewish community to educate the public about the importance of their common objective of decreasing U.S. reliance on imported oil from the Middle East.”
The group considers itself to be the successor to a similar group organized during the 1980s to address the same basic issue.
Former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger recently stopped by the newsroom to speak on behalf of the council.
He promoted an energy secure United States as essential for the country and its allies.
“At this point where America is threatened by unpredictable supply and the price of imported oil, by the rise of Islamic terrorism, by the possibility of a nuclear Iran, energy independence would provide the ways and means to deal with those threats much more effectively,” Ettinger said. “It would mean American independence of imported oil, and therefore would provide for the maximization of American independence of national security actions, which at this point is severely inhibited.”
The Council for a Secure America employs many of the arguments forwarded by other energy independence advocates, including strengthened national security, improved trade balance and a boosted domestic economy.
The group also includes a specific focus on the country's allies.
“Energy independence for America would be a game-changer in the international arena, enhancing its position of power while at the same time intimidating those who threaten America, and upgrading the national security of the free world in general, and in my case Israel in particular,” Ettinger said.