You Won’t Believe How Trump’s Short-lister for Interior Secretary Made His Money

Run, Forrest, run! All the way to Trump’s cabinet.

bySteve Cole Smith| PUBLISHED Nov 30, 2016 1:17 AM
You Won’t Believe How Trump’s Short-lister for Interior Secretary Made His Money

Forrest Lucas, we love ya, when it comes to motorsports. You and your company, Lucas Oil, have sponsored more racers and racing series than anybody. You built a great dirt track and drag boat strip in Missouri. Your son, Morgan, was a pretty decent NHRA Top Fuel driver. And you own MAV-TV, the favorite cable network of Tony Stewart, who is always watching modified racing from Bakersfield or something.

But as Secretary of the Interior? Um, not so sure. But you are on the future Commander in Chief's short list, according to the New York Times and multiple other sources, to be our new S of the I, who, according to the paper, "will decide the fate of Obama-era rules that stop public land development; curb the exploration of oil, coal and gas; and promote wind and solar power on public lands." The short list also includes Sarah Palin and Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, an oil and gas company, so we can pretty much assume anybody Trump chooses will be paving over Yellowstone. And Lucas' "Protect the Harvest" group, which mentions that Lucas "has dedicated his resources to protecting America’s prosperity," is dedicated largely to protecting Forrest's prosperity as a major cattle producer.

But it's especially interesting to read how Forrest Lucas, 74, got his oil company started. From an interview with Lucas says he "hunted through chemical junk yards taking a little of this and a little of that and began mixing and matching our own lubricant formulas. One day we took a lid off a rusted up barrel of chemical stuff that had been dumped and forgotten. I knew enough about it to know that this would have to be the absolute heart of the oil. I said, 'Oh, my God. This is what I’ve been looking for.' I took it, and I started making formulas with it."

Lucas recounted that story, as he has multiple times, to Autoweek, which was slightly more skeptical than "Lucas claims that while looking for a way to increase the durability of his long-haul trucking fleet 30 or so years ago, he stumbled across a barrel of discarded fluid left behind a building in an industrial section somewhere in Southern California. He says he used this discarded oily substance to make—with no background in chemistry, physics, engineering, fluid dynamics, ultimate Frisbee or voodoo economics—a substance that outperformed whatever the best minds and biggest budgets of the 100-year-old, multitrillion-dollar petroleum industry had ever produced."

The joke apparently being on all those oil companies and all the money they have blown on research, which might as well have been conducted in the science labs of Trump University.

Lucas has generally stayed out of the news, but was forced into it two years ago. He and his wife, Charlotte, had to apologize for one of her Facebook posts in 2014 that said, "I'm sick and tired of minorities running our country! As far as I'm concerned, I don't think that atheists (minority), muslims (minority) or any other minority group has the right to tell the majority of the people in the United States what they can and cannot do here. Is everyone so scared that they can't fight back for what is right or wrong with this country?"​