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 RubioPoll: Majority of GOP voters wish they chose another presidential nominee The Trail 2016: Trump the Politician Christie: Critics of Medicaid expansion have been 'proven wrong' 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 Rodham ClintonPoll: Majority of GOP voters wish they chose another presidential nominee Trump campaign CEO met with ex-Carter adviser Trump surrogate apologizes for tweeting cartoon of Clinton in blackface 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.”