hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and recently donated $985,000 to Restore Our Future, a super PAC devoted to supporting Romney’s candidacy. While super PACs are supposed to be independent, the former cotton picker has also become a member of Romney’s energy advisory team, feeding the candidate optimistic assessments about U.S. oil production. Hamm is trying to take the lessons of the Oklahoma and North Dakota oil patches and apply them in Washington for the nation’s benefit — and his own.
The Romney energy team, whose full membership list has not been disclosed, holds weekly conference calls, Hamm says. But Hamm is not bashful about his views. His rarely updated Web site says, “Since President Obama’s election three and a half years ago, he and his administration have done everything in their power to stop fossil fuel usage.” Hamm, by contrast, has lauded the virtues of keeping tax incentives for oil exploration companies such as his, even as Romney has opposed such incentives for wind energy. Hamm has also criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for rules that will phase in safer, cleaner hydraulic fracturing practices. Such guidelines, he says, should be left to states. And he supports the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ease the transportation crunch for North Dakota oil.
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