Saturday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about Harold Hamm, the Oklahoma-based founder and CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America. He was the original discoverer of the gigantic and prolific Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota that have already helped move the U.S. into third place among world oil producers.
Mr. Hamm was in Washington recently for a ‘giving summit’ with wealthy Americans who have pledged to give at least half their wealth to charity. He reports on his brief conversation with President Obama:
When it was Mr. Hamm’s turn to talk briefly with President Obama, “I told him of the revolution in the oil and gas industry and how we have the capacity to produce enough oil to enable America to replace OPEC. I wanted to make sure he knew about this.”
The president’s reaction? “He turned to me and said, ‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.'” Mr. Hamm holds his head in his hands and says, “Even if you believed that, why would you want to stop oil and gas development? It was pretty disappointing.”
Evidently President Obama is blinded by the fact that many of his friends and major financial supporters have substantial investments in green energy. There is nothing wrong with green energy, but right now we have a need for oil and gas. It is a shame that our President is so blinded by self-interest that he is unwilling to address that need.