Continental Resources Chairman and CEO Harold Hamm is seeking more than $75,000 in damages over a Facebook post that accused the billionaire of trying to “squelch” science examining links between Oklahoma’s energy industry and earthquakes.
Hamm filed a defamation lawsuit Friday against Oklahoma City oilman Mickey Thompson, one day after Thompson wrote a post on his personal Facebook page that was critical of Hamm. The lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma County District Court.
Thompson posted a link to a story published by the online news outlet Energywire that reported the University of Oklahoma had asked Harold Hamm for a $25 million donation to create “The Continental Resources Center for Energy Research and Technology” while scientists from the OU-affiliated Oklahoma Geological Survey were trying to formulate an official stance on the link between the recent spate of earthquakes in the state and oil and gas exploration.
Oklahoma Geological Survey initially said that there was no apparent link between the oil and gas industry and earthquakes, but later reversed course.
“The Oklahoma oil industry has been wrong and late to the dance on induced seismicity. Hamm’s usual insightfulness has been missing on the issue,” Thompson wrote, according to a copy of the Facebook post filed with the lawsuit.
“As for philanthropy, Hamm has been hugely generous to OU. But the fact remains he tried to squelch OGS efforts to establish good science on seismicity. Shame on him!”
Thompson said he was unaware of the lawsuit on Monday and declined to comment further when contacted by The Oklahoman.
Harold Hamm is a pleasant individual who displays good study habits…
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