There’s been a lot of ink spilled writing about Harold Hamm, top boss at Continental Resources, an Oklahoma oil firm. And for good reason: Hamm bet big on the Bakken and won. Continental controls more than 1 million acres in the oil-rich formation, including hundreds of thousands of acres in North Dakota.
So it’s little wonder that Hamm, 66, is among America’s richest men — Forbes estimates his net worth at $9.7 billion, putting him at #78 in its ranking of the world’s billionaires.
A brash and savvy operator, it’s assumed that Hamm has always supported the Keystone XL pipeline and Republicans. After all, he is an oil man and he’s currently serving as presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s energy czar. But this Reuters investigation shows that Hamm worked with environmentalists to block the controversial pipeline for fear it would flood American markets with cheap Canadian crude.
“The crude that was going to come from Canada scared us half to death,” said Michael “Mickey” Thompson, a man Reuters describes as a “friend and advisor” to Hamm.
Another surprise: Between 2000 and 2004, public records show Hamm registered to vote as as Democrat. He switched party affiliations in 2004. Although he’s a big money supporter of Romney and super PACs supporting Romney, he’s also given money to moderate Democrats in the South and Midwest.
This article, published on September 20, 2012, includes other great stuff. If you missed the earlier link, it is also here.
Another Reuters article on Hamm, published on March 21, 2013, examines Hamm’s pending divorce, which could cost the billionaire a significant portion of his fortune.