Report: Oil tycoon sought meeting with OU President on earthquake research
According to emails obtained by EnergyWire, through open records requests, Continental Resources Inc. founder Harold Hamm wanted to discuss with University of Oklahoma President David Boren on how research on fracking might be perceived by the public. Hamm sought to manage Oklahoma’s state-funded research into the links among hydraulic fracturing, oil production and earthquakes.
Hamm is the richest oilman in the state, and much of his fortune derives from hydraulic fracturing. He’s considered a founding father of the Bakken Shale, where fracking and horizontal drilling have opened vast reserves of crude oil for Continental Resources.
Boren, a former U.S. senator, serves on the board of directors at Continental. He’s been paid more than $1.6 million in cash and stock by Continental, including $306,000 in 2011. Last year, his compensation from Continental was about $15,000 less than his $364,900 state salary.
State Rep. Jason Murphey, whose Guthrie-based district has been repeatedly shaken by earthquakes, said the 2011 and 2013 meetings show that Boren has a conflict of interest.
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