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Who will lead Trump's Department of Energy? Oil baron makes shortlist.

An Oklahoma oil tycoon and leading proponent of fracking is one of several contenders for secretary of Energy, according to Trump administration transition planning documents.

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Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources and among the pioneers in shale oil drilling in the United States, gives an interview in New York, Jan. 13. Mr. Hamm is being considered to run Trump's Energy Department, according to transition planning documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Bebeto Matthews/AP

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An oil billionaire, a North Dakota lawmaker and a former Bush administration official are being considered to run Donald Trump's Energy Department, according to transition planning documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The documents, which are being closely scrutinized by energy lobbyists in Washington, also outline early policy priorities for a Trump administration. Topping the list is repealing the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration effort to limit carbon pollution from power plants. Implementation is currently on hold awaiting a court ruling.

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Those under consideration for energy secretary include Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma oil tycoon and leading proponent of fracking, and North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, an early Trump supporter from a major oil drilling state. Venture capitalist Robert Grady, who worked in President George H.W. Bush's administration, is listed as a contender to lead both the Energy and Interior Departments.

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It's unclear whether the list is exhaustive or has been reviewed by Trump. The Republican is in the early stages of setting up his administration, having named only his White House chief of staff and chief strategist thus far.

Trump has vowed to roll back many of the environmental regulations put in place during Obama's eight years in office. On his campaign website, he called for rescinding "all job-destroying Obama executive actions" and said he would open "onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminate moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale energy deposits."

As The Christian Science Monitor's Zack Colman notes, "President-elect Trump frames energy issues not through the lens of climate science, where researchers see an urgent need for reduced carbon emissions, but through the lens of the jobs he argues can be harvested from fossil fuels."

In addition to repealing the power plant rules, the transition document also says Trump's energy team is considering modifications to Obama's ozone rule, which is meant to reduce smog. The president-elect is also said to be considering using a new rule to repeal the "Waters of the United States" measure protecting thousands of waterways and wetlands, another regulation caught up in the courts. Also on the table are Obama's restriction of fossil fuel exploration on federal lands and federal clean energy funding programs.

AP writer Michael Biesecker contributed to this report.


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