Sources inside the Department of Energy told The Daily Caller News Foundation that either fracking billionaire CEO Harold Hamm, energy insider Mike Mckenna or venture capitalist Robert Grady will be President-elect Donald Trump’s new secretary of energy.
All three candidates have worked in conservative energy policy for years.
Hamm has long been seen as a leading candidate for the job and has been Trump’s friend for years. Hamm worked his way up from pumping gas to becoming CEO of his own billion-dollar company, Continental Resources. As a CEO, Hamm popularized fracking, paving the way for a new American oil boom and earning him a net worth of $13.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Hamm previously served as an energy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, and has greatly influenced the energy policies of both Republican candidates. Partially due to Hamm’s influence, Trump has broadly embraced fracking and energy exploration, promising to lift environmental regulations, open federal lands to energy production and make permitting processes easier.
Politico claims that Hamm is the preferred candidate, calling him Trump’s “energy whisperer,” but cites no specific sources.
McKenna is currently leading Trump’s DOE transition team, and has worked for both the Departments of Energy and Transportation. He is currently president of the consulting firm MWR Strategies and is a well-connected energy insider closely tied to the conservative and industry-backed Institute for Energy Research.
McKenna has lobbied for the Dow Chemical Company, Southern Company and portions of Koch Industries.
Grady was the director of Natural Resources, Energy and Science for George H.W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and helped craft the Clean Air Act of 1990. Grady led former President George W. Bush’s campaign in California in both 2000 and 2004 and crafted the state’s environmental policies when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor.
Grady is currently a venture capitalist the middle-market private equity firm Gryphon Investors.
The Trump campaign did not return requests for comment, and members of Trump’s transition team only confirmed that Hamm and Grady had been previously mentioned in the media.
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