A man, a plan, a pipeline: The tycoon guiding Romney on energy
On Keystone XL
In 2009, the 66-year-old founder and chief executive of Continental Resources formed a lobby group of fellow Oklahoma oilmen and reached out to state governors, landowners and environmentalists along the proposed route. Hamm feared Keystone XL would flood his firm’s backyard with cheap Canadian oil.
“We basically stopped Keystone at the border,” Hamm said in an interview with Reuters, explaining how the alliance was able to stymie permits for the line. “We didn’t want all that oil dumped in Oklahoma.”
A year later, in 2010, Hamm turned around and backed the line after his lobbying succeeded in persuading the operator, TransCanada Corp., to add a $140 million extension, or spur. That addition would pick up Hamm’s crude and that of other nearby U.S. producers and carry it to the refining hub along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
“When that changed, we felt like we had to support it,” Hamm said.
The spur line could allow Continental to net an extra $20 per barrel for the crude it ships down the line. That adds up to as much as $200 million a year for Continental, after transportation costs, according to Reuters calculations that were vetted by industry analysts.
The Oklahoma tycoon was an unusual choice as [Mitt Romney’s] energy adviser. Past presidential candidates have rarely, if ever, relied so openly on an oil magnate to draw up their energy agenda.
Obama took a jab at the link at the Democratic convention last month, saying: “Unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan.” …
The Romney-Hamm plan focuses on drilling for fossil fuels. That agenda, laid out in a 21-page white paper, proposes giving the individual states control over the permitting of oil and gas drilling on federal government lands; opening vast new offshore areas for drilling; re-writing environmental regulations; and ending government aid for renewable energy sources. …
The platform represents a break with the recent Republican past. In their presidential runs, GOP candidates George W. Bush and John McCain appointed energy advisers who emphasized conservation to achieve American energy independence.
“The policy of let’s ‘drill, frack and mine, baby!’ our way to energy independence won’t work,” said James Woolsey, a former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency who was McCain’s energy adviser in 2008 and is now a venture capitalist focused on renewable energy. “America cannot effectively seal itself off from the global oil marketplace, even if we could produce enough crude.”
“The Romney-Hamm plan.” Good as the name of a plan for ham; great as a description of the candidate’s energy policy.
The point is: Go read the article. A ton of depth; important information.
And just for kicks, here’s a word cloud of it.
Hamm, oil, energy, drilling, million. Good summary. I regret that I was unable to make it in the shape of a hambone.
Special Report: How Romney energy czar fuels business with politics, Reuters.