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Hamm: Clinton would end fossil fuel development

Less drilling because of tighter regulations a win for terrorism, Continental Resources CEO says.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Hamm: Clinton would end fossil fuel development
Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm speaks in support for Donald Trump's energy platform, saying U.S. oil production would double if the Republican candidate wins the White House. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

CLEVELAND, July 21 (UPI) -- Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would end fossil fuel development if elected, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said.

Hamm addressed delegates in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention, speaking Wednesday in support of energy policies backed by GOP nominee Donald Trump.

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"Our nation should embrace energy independence, not eliminate it," he said. "Hillary Clinton would eliminate fossil fuel development in America."

Continental Resources is among the largest leaseholders in the Bakken shale oil reserve in North Dakota. At a keynote address at a North Dakota energy conference this year, Trump said the United States would become "totally independent" from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in part by removing obstacles standing in the way of further exploration.

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Under a Trump presidency, Hamm said total U.S. crude oil production would double.

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Seven of the top 10 oil exporters to the United States are members of OPEC, accounting for more than 45 percent of the total. Canada is the No. 1 oil exporter to the United States and Trump said that, if elected, he'd sign the permits needed to build the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline, which Washington rejected largely on environmental grounds.

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Clinton, who served as a senator in New York, a state that moved in opposition to the drilling practice known more commonly as fracking, said tightening regulations on the oil and gas sector would top her energy sector concerns as president. She touted the development of natural gas as a bridge to a low-carbon economy.

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Hamm countered that more regulations would expose U.S. national security to heightened risk from terrorism, claiming the recent mass shootings at an Orlando club catering to members of the LGBT community was evidence of that.

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Hamm's company entered 2016 with a budget of around $920 million, a 66 percent reduction from last year. Lower crude oil prices, sparked in part by a surplus in U.S. shale oil production, has starved energy companies of the capital needed for further investments in exploration and production.

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