Fracking pioneer to advise Rubio on energy

Fracking pioneer to advise Rubio on energy
© Greg Nash

One of the early pioneers in the recent boom in hydraulic fracturing is now advising Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE on his presidential campaign.

Larry Nichols, the co-founder and former chief of Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas driller Devon Energy Corp., will head a campaign steering committee on energy and be Rubio’s top adviser on the subject, his campaign said.

Nichols worked closely with Texas businessman George Mitchell to make fracking and horizontal drilling economically viable. It led to the oil and gas boom of recent years, which has centered on shale drilling, a kind of drilling that usually includes fracking.

Nichols told Bloomberg News that “the path to our energy future is not through regulation but through innovation.”

He explained that “innovation is what is driving this country; it is revolutionizing our society and what we can do and accomplish, in ways that are unthinkable.”

Nichols will also host a fundraiser for Rubio this week.

In Rubio’s energy platform, he advocates for federal policies that increase access to fossil fuels like oil and gas, and accuses Democrats such as President Obama and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE of trying to help some energy sources while putting new regulations on fossil fuels.

“The Clinton-Obama approach has never worked, and never will,” he says in the plan. “Government must focus on the kind of basic research it does well, and let innovators take care of the rest.”