Oklahoma Oil Magnate Harold Hamm Being Considered For Trump's Energy Secretary

Thursday, July 21st 2016, 4:36 pm
By: Grant Hermes

In his first major speech at a Republican Convention, Oklahoma oil tycoon Harold Hamm was on the offensive standing up for his industry and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“A President Trump will fuel an American future and become the first president to achieve American energy independence,” Hamm told a delegates packed into the Cleveland arena. 

Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources, said Hillary Clinton would eliminate fossil fuel development in the U.S.; something he said would put America’s interest at home and abroad at stake.

“Every time we can't drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded,” a conservatively dressed Hamm said on stage.

But it's what happened after his speech that's garnering attention. Sources, at the convention and close to the Trump campaign, told Reuters Hamm was being looked at a potential Energy Secretary in a Trump White House.

As many as four separate sources confirmed Hamm was in the running for the position, although neither representatives from the Trump campaign nor Hamm’s company have responded to requests for a comment.

After initially supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Hamm first endorsed Trump in April, saying in a statement Trump, "is not my last choice, he is the best choice." Hamm has also been advising the Trump campaign on energy since May.

Hamm's company was once an energy powerhouse, before oil prices took a sharp decline earlier this year. Hamm himself is worth nearly $12 billion, according to Forbes. That kind of money could be appealing to a Trump campaign that's struggling to match funds against Hillary Clinton's fundraising machine.

This isn't Hamm's first foray into cabinet territory. He was vetted in 2012 by the Romney campaign for the same office while serving as an energy advisor, but Hamm was eventually cut from the list. Hamm, an opponent of wind energy, differed from Romney on the issue and the two parted ways.

If selected, Hamm would be the first energy secretary to come straight from the oil and gas industry since the department was created in 1977.