We are talking about billionaire Harold Hamm, the owner of the oil shale giant Continental Resources. He will fund a new research facility at Oklahoma State University that is “securing America’s energy future.” The Harold Hamm Foundation and Continental Resources have announced they will provide $ 25 million each to any university that opens the Hamm American Energy Institute.
The donation “will bring together the brightest minds and future leaders in the energy sector from around the world, all with the goal of solving one of society’s most pressing problems,” Oklahoma Governor Casey Schram said in a statement.
Hamm, who, incidentally, is 76 years old, has always been a staunch supporter of oil and gas production, despite the fact that mining companies face growing pressure from politicians and investors to reduce greenhouse emissions. But this year, the billionaire untied his wallet after a spike in oil prices boosted his personal fortune.
Continental surprised investors last month by announcing a $ 3.25 billion deal with Pioneer Natural Resources Co. by assets in the Permian pool. And announced that it had allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire the world’s largest shale field.
A 2013 study by Oklahoma scientists showed that spillovers from hydraulic fracturing would increasingly harm the small towns of the state. Plain Oklahoma, paradoxically, became the capital of the US earthquakes. Every day in the state, an average of two tremors are recorded.
A growing body of data confirms that hydraulic fracturing is most likely directly related to increased seismic activity. American scientists are now intensively studying this problem, since after the start of the shale boom, regions adjacent to the largest deposits began to experience more tremors than ever before in their history.
Until 2009, in Oklahoma, there was almost no seismic activity. Quite a telling fact: before the start of the shale boom, local insurance companies did not even issue earthquake insurance, because there was simply no demand for them. But now, insurance has become the most popular product.
The regional government even conducted its own research to ensure that the assumptions of outside scientific groups were valid. And he came to the conclusion that hydraulic fracturing really caused an increase in seismic activity. Unfortunately, so far no one has found an effective way to stop the destruction of the state.